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December 11,  2002

CPSC Alerts Shoppers to Dangers of Using Loose-Fitting Cotton Garments as Sleepwear for Kids

(SafetyAlerts) - Parents Can Help Prevent Burns by Putting Kids in Snug-fitting or Flame-resistant Sleepwear
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) urges holiday shoppers to make sure the sleepwear they purchase for children is either flame-resistant or snug- fitting to reduce the risk of burns. Loose-fitting T-shirts and other loose-fitting clothing made of cotton or cotton blends should not be used for children's sleepwear, because they can catch fire easily and burn rapidly. Burns often occur when children, who are dressed for bed, play with fire (matches, lighters, candles, burners on stoves) just before bedtime and just after rising in the morning.

"Snug-fitting cotton and flame-resistant sleepwear are the safest choices for children's sleepwear," said Chairman Hal Stratton. "T-shirts and other loose fitting clothing can catch fire more easily, and cause serious burn injuries. Parents can identify snug-fitting sleepwear at the store by yellow tags attached to the garment."

CPSC sets national safety standards for children's sleepwear flammability. These standards protect children from serious burn injuries if they come in contact with a small flame. Under federal safety rules, garments sold as children's sleepwear for sizes larger than nine months must be either flame-resistant or snug-fitting.

Flame-resistant garments are made from inherently flame-resistant fabrics or are treated with flame retardants and do not continue to burn when removed from a small flame. Snug-fitting sleepwear is made of stretchy cotton or cotton blends that fit closely against a child's body. Snug-fitting sleepwear is less likely than loose T-shirts to come into contact with a flame and does not ignite as easily or burn as rapidly, because there is little air under the garment to feed a fire.

CPSC requires hang tags and permanent labels on snug-fitting children's sleepwear, made of non-flame-resistant fabrics, to remind consumers that because the garment is not flame-resistant, it must fit snugly for safety. The yellow hangtag for snug-fitting garments says: "For child's safety, garment should fit snugly. This garment is not flame resistant. Loose-fitting garment is more likely to catch fire." The permanent label says "Wear snug-fitting. Not flame resistant" and is sewn into the neck of the garment. Parents should look for tags that say the garment is flame-resistant or snug-fitting.

Source: CPSC

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