Children's Apparel Safety

Written by joanna swanson
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Children's Apparel Safety
Children's apparel has strict standards of safety. (Girl sitting on stone image by Sebastian from

Parents attempt to protect their children in any way that they can. While they cannot protect them from every danger, parents should not have to worry about the safety of the clothing they purchase for their children. The Consumer Product Safety Commission, the organisation in charge of regulating the safety of consumer products, has issued regulations to ensure the safety of children's apparel.


Children's clothing has been linked to injuries and death in certain situations. For example, drawstrings on children's outer clothing can become entangled in play equipment or automobile doors and strangle or drag children. Loose-fitting or non-flame-resistant sleepwear can also cause serious injury or death to children over the age of 9 months, when they are able to move themselves independent of their parents. Consequently, the Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued several safety standards to reduce the hazard to children.


The apparel safety standards for children's clothing are in use to protect children from unnecessary dangers that their clothing may put them in. When children's clothing is flame-resistant, low in lead content, free of overly long drawstrings and small parts, children will be protected in manageable ways.


Safety standards for children's apparel commonly in use include regulations on the flammability of sleepwear, lead content of material or decoration, drawstrings use and small parts. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued regulations concerning each of these areas and also has labelling guidelines concerning the flammability of children's sleepwear.


The safety standard for the flammability of children's sleepwear stipulates that all sleepwear for children over the age of 9 months must be made from flame-retardant fabric or be snug-fitting.

The standard concerning the lead content of products made for children 12 and younger applies to the zippers, snaps or other metal or plastic adornments, and must have less than 0.06 per cent lead content.

Drawstrings on outer clothing for children can be a strangulation hazard, so the Consumer Product Safety Commission issued recommendations that all drawstrings around the neck or waist be shortened or replaced with snaps, Velcro or other alternative closure.

Although the small parts regulation applies mostly to children's toys, it also applies to clothing that may have snaps, buttons or other plastic or metal decoration. Some such parts can be pulled off and be a choking hazard.


To identify clothing that conforms to these safety standards, the Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued labelling requirements concerning the flammability of sleepwear. The sleepwear must have a permanent label that states how to care for the garment to prevent reduction of its flame resistance and must include identification of the material used in the event of a recall.

Parents should also ensure that the outer garments purchased for their children have no long drawstrings that could become entangled in playground equipment.

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