Q: I’m looking online for fancy dress costumes for my kids. But I’m worried as I’ve read stories about some costumes not being fire-safe and some children being hurt.

What should I look for to keep them safe?

A: Unfortunately you’re right. There have been a number of incidents where children's costumes were set alight by accident.

Check the costume comes with safety instructions, a CE marking and the manufacturer’s name.

A CE marking means the product complies with health and safety requirements, and the product has been tested for flammability. (Sometimes a fake CE mark is used. A giveaway is the middle line of ‘E’, which should be shorter than the other parts.)

Make sure you’re buying from a reputable online retailer. Find out as much about them as you can, like customer reviews, or ask them directly for safety information. Also check whether the product has ever been recalled before, on the website productrecall.campaign.gov.uk.

Talk to your children about how best to stay safe while having fun in fancy dress, like keeping away from candles and open flames. And if you’re in doubt, don’t buy the product.

You can always contact Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06 for further help or to report an issue.

Free, confidential advice and help is available from South Lakes Citizens Advice on any aspect of debt, consumer problems, benefits, housing, employment or any other problems. We can give detailed advice over the phone – telephone 03444 111 444. For email see our website: www.southlakescab.org.uk. We have various outlets across South Lakeland if an appointment is required. For Money Advice and for on-going enquiries please call 015394 46464.