Parents have slammed retailers for selling a ‘Burnt Zombie Child’ Halloween costume in the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy.
The £34.99 Halloween costume is sold by online retailer Escapade and aimed at children aged just eight to ten years old.
Parents censured the firm for its insensitivity, with 99% saying they would ban their child from wearing it.
ChannelMum.com’s annual study revealed that two thirds of parents now claim some Halloween costumes are “too frightening” for young children, up from 48% last year. Some 20% fear Halloween is becoming more sinister by the year. While 41% claim the costumes are no longer traditional but used simply ‘to terrify‘.
The study of 1,006 parents found 84% of UK families celebrate Halloween. Of these, 94% allow their kids to dress up. However, there is growing worry about the direction the yearly celebration is taking.
Other costumes for concern highlighted by parents include a Headless Horseman and a Killer Clown, both aimed at eight to ten year olds.
Furthermore, the number of sexualised costumes for young girls has increased. And 55% of parents agree that many are ‘too sexual’ for children, up from 43% last year.
The provocatively-named Midnight Mischief, sold by the Duchess of Cambridge’s parent’s Party Pieces store, is another costume easily available. Retailer halloweencostumes.co.uk also faced criticism for selling a XXS version of the skin-tight Sexy Feline Catsuit Costume. The chest measurement is just 24 inches, the same as a typical six year old.
Even the traditional ghost outfit has received a horror makeover, with Scream-style masks added to costumes for three-year-old toddlers.
Thinking beyond profit
As a result 89% of parents now back age-appropriate ratings on costumes, up from 68% last year. And though 92% want retailers to take more responsibility for the outfits they sell, 67% think that stores only care about profit.
ChannelMum.com founder Siobhan Freegard said: “Have retailers fallen under an evil Halloween spell? Looking spooky and scary is great fun and what Halloween is all about. But some of these costumes have gone far too far.
Stores have to be sensitive to the world around them. It’s time to realise it’s unacceptable to sell some of these outfits. Sexualising toddlers or pushing costumes which could traumatise simply for profit is the nastiest thing about Halloween.”
We at FQ Magazine couldn’t agree more.