British television host Claudia Winkleman experienced something last Halloween that all of us parents dread yet presume will never happen to us. While out trick-or-treating with her 8 year old daughter Matilda, Matilda’s supermarket bought costume brushed against an open candle that was lighting up a jack-o-lantern and immediately caught fire.
What happened next is the things nightmares are made of, with Claudia explaining to BBC Watchdog in a video posted to their facebook page that she can best describe it as her daughter ‘going up’ in flames.
We couldn’t put her out. Her tights had melted into her skin. … She went up, is the only way I know how to describe it. It was not like fire I had seen before.
Like if your shirt caught fire or anything I could put it out. It was the tights that… They came back to life. It was like those horrific birthday candles that you blow out and then they come back.
Winkleman first filmed this interview back in May but it’s making the rounds now with Halloween right around the corner. She says that it was the tights that her daughter was wearing that did the most damage and when asked if she would do anything differently she said ‘I wish that I had made her dress in, I don’t know pajamas, nice cotton pajamas or something like that. But I can’t do that, that’s how she was dressed.’
When asked why she was going public with her story now, especially given how painful it is to recount, Claudia said that if she encouraged just a few people to rethink the costumes they buy for their kids than it’s worth it, saying ‘I don’t want another 8 year old to go through what Tilda went through. I just, I don’t want this to happen.’
I think as parents we worry about so many things on Halloween, like making sure we get to check the kids candy before they eat it and hoping that the pranks are kept to a minimum, but I honestly don’t think I’ve ever worried about something as severe as my child’s costume catching fire. Last year I used those flameless candles for my pumpkins and I will definitely do the same this year. Do you worry about things like flammability when you buy your costumes? Tights like these are so common for little girls to wear, this video was definitely eye opening for me.