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Dangerous Halloween costume flagged up two weeks late

The ugly masks had long been put away and the pointy hats hung up for another year. But that did not stop the consumer authority from ordering the removal from shops of Halloween costumes that could pose a danger to young children... a full two weeks after the festivity.

In an official statement issued on November 14, the Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority said cords in the neck area of these costumes could lead to strangulation.

Anyone who had bought these costumes, known as Mystic Witch and Horror Life, “should refrain from using them and return them to the retailer”, the authority said.

Asked why it took the action well after the costumes were normally bought and used, a spokesman for the authority admitted that the process to establish the precise facts had taken a number of days.

“Following an inspection on October 29, the importer concerned was told that there was an issue with the products in view of the cords around the neck area of the costumes,” he said.

“However, further investigation was necessary and two samples were taken for further testing. As required by law, correspondence was exchanged with the operator and an enforcement action to re­call the products was taken on November 9.”

The authority took its final decision only after the operator declared that he had no records from where he had purchased the dangerous products, the spokesman added.

On November 14, the authority issued its press release announcing its order to remove the costumes from the market.

The authority says inspections on children’s costumes are carried out annually, generally during the weeks preceding Carnival and Halloween.

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