Costume Safety for Children is our Top Priority
We take costume safety very seriously and invest heavily to ensure the integrity and safety of all our products. In 2015 alone, we invested £1,000,000 in our safety testing and procedures.
Be in the know: Regulation of children's costumes
Children's costumes are regulated and must comply with EN71. This is a Europe-wide standard which tests for flammability, choking and strangulation hazards, as well as toxicity. This strict criteria does not apply to everyday children's clothing (with the exception of some nightwear).
- Children’s clothing can catch fire and burn when exposed to fire and naked flames and some manufacturers only voluntarily add "keep away from fire" warnings
- Children’s costumes must comply with AS/NZS ISO 8124. This is tests for small parts and sharp edges (choking and strangulation prevention), flammability and toxicity
- The flammability testing measures the ‘rate of flame spread’ on fabric and complete costumes and how quickly the flame self-extinguishes
Smiffys approach: Going above and beyond
Our dedicated in-house team ensure that all of our children’s costumes (and certain accessories) are manufactured and rigorously tested to comply with both EN71 regulations AND Nightwear (Safety) Standards. This ensures the absolute highest safety standards and reassurance that our children’s costumes are safe and fit for purpose.
We take pride that all Smiffys children’s costumes are:
- Labelled "Warning. Keep away from fire" irrespective of the burn rate within the AS/NZS ISO 8124 regulatory limit
- Labelled with the CE mark as a declaration that the product meets the European Toy Safety Directive (2009/48/EC), and has undergone a variety of product tests to ensure that it is safe for use
- Subject to further safety checks through spot-checks and batch tests (surveillance and due-diligence testing) once the products are received in the UK warehouse to guarantee quality and safety assurance
Every production run is batch tested and verified as compliant at source and our safety certificates are continually updated. Costumes are therefore subject to safety checks before, during and after production.
Fake Britain Investigates
We were pleased that all our hard work paid off when Fake Britain highlighted the importance of safety in children’s costumes. It’s so important for consumers to know what they are buying and why they should value the genuine Smiffys product. It really does make a difference.
"We're delighted to see the airing of the Fake Britain episode. We've been working hard to highlight the issues surrounding counterfeit products, particularly, to our trade customers and consumers alike and the potential safety risk. We're grateful that Fake Britain has given us the opportunity to explain to consumers the risks and how they can best protect themselves.
We are now voluntarily testing all of our children's costumes to the most stringent flammability standards, the Nightwear regulations, whilst supporting the work being done on the proposed "extended" EN71 regulations. It's important that all of our customers have the information to make an informed choice when buying dress-up costumes and fancy dress and we always hope they value the quality and investment we make in ensuring we provide a fantastic range with fun and safety in mind."
Be aware: Making informed choices with children’s costumes
Other manufacturers may not be as vigilant about safety as we are. By cutting corners to save cost; they may not be prepared to invest in safety procedures and testing standards.
Safety checks for parents: what to look for
- The packaging, or any accompanying leaflet, should contain specific parental or flammability warnings, safety symbols and instructions for use, etc
- Costumes should be permanently labelled with the CE mark and relevant fire warnings
- Check the CE marking hasn’t been faked – check the correct logo has been used, particularly the middle line of the E as it should be shorter
- The label or packaging should contain the manufacturers name, address, postcode or phone number and a registered trademark
Don't be deceived by cheap, counterfeit Smiffys branded products, online or in-store. These items will not have undergone the rigorous safety checks or stand up to the safety standards Smiffys employs as a responsible manufacturer.
We invest time and money removing counterfeit products and work closely with online marketplaces to remove infringing product listings and fake replicas. We take legal action where we identify illegal sellers copying our 'branded' designs and products.
Not only are customers who buy counterfeit costumes disappointed by the quality and unable to return them, but these products are potentially unsafe. Selling counterfeit goods is illegal and usually funds criminal activities. Make sure you only purchase through authorised re-sellers of Smiffys or on Smiffys.com. If you’re not sure, ask us. That way you can assure your family’s safety.
As a family run business we understand the needs of parents to feel confident in the costume they choose for their children. We pride ourselves in going above and beyond the safety regulation requirements to provide a costume that we can both feel confident putting our children in for Halloween and any dress up occasion.