OFFICE OF COMPLIANCE
Assistant Executive Director
January 10, 1997
On behalf of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, I am writing to ask that retailers support an information and education campaign being conducted by the CPSC, the American Apparel Manufacturer's Association, and children's sleepwear manufacturers.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission, in conjunction with the American Apparel Manufacturers Association and children's sleepwear manufacturers, is conducting an information and education campaign to educate consumers about safe choices for children's sleepwear. Since the Commission's flammability standards for children's sleepwear in sizes 0-6x and 7-14 were first issued in the early 1970s, they have required that children's sleepwear and related garments be flame resistant. Amendments to the standards recently issued by the Commission exempt from these standards children's sleepwear garments sized for children 9 months or younger, and certain tight-fitting garments in sizes above 9 months through size 14.
Because these amendments now permit the sale of tight-fitting, non-flame resistant sleepwear, it is very important that consumers understand the need to purchase properly sized garments when they choose non-flame-resistant sleepwear sold for children in sizes above 9 months. Consumers also need to know that flame-resistant-garments are still available as a looser-fitting alternative. And consumers need to be able to easily tell the difference between the two types of sleepwear that will be on the market.
A large number of children's sleepwear manufacturers have agreed to attach to their children's sleepwear garments a hang tag that says "Fabric and fit are important safety considerations for children's sleepwear. Sleepwear should be flame resistant or snug-fitting to meet U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission sleepwear requirements." The hang tags will also say either "This garment is flame resistant" or "This garment should be worn snug fitting." In addition, they have agreed to a permanent label that indicates whether the garment is flame resistant. The Commission strongly supports this labeling to help consumers make informed buying decisions when purchasing children's sleepwear.
In statements of policy concerning the scope of the children's sleepwear standards, 16 C.F.R. §§ 1615.64(d) and 1616.65(d), CPSC also advises retailers to segregate, by placement in different parts of a department or store, fabrics and garments that are sleepwear items--for example, night gowns, robes, and lounge wear--from those which may resemble children's sleepwear items--for example, certain styles of long underwear and playwear. The policy statements further advise retailers to use store display signs indicating the distinction between types of fabrics and garments by stating, for example, which are sleepwear items and which are not. Finally, the policy statements advise retailers to avoid the advertisement or promotion of a fabric or garment that does not comply with the children's sleepwear standards in a manner that may cause the item to be viewed by the consumer as an item of complying children's sleepwear.
The Commission staff will be looking closely at the way retailers display, market, and sell garments that are likely to be viewed by consumers as children's sleepwear. Where it finds retailers selling or promoting garments as sleepwear that are neither flame-resistant nor tight-fitting, it will act to enforce the Flammable Fabrics Act and the regulations issued under it.
With your help, consumers can make informed decisions when purchasing children's sleepwear. If you have any questions, please call Patricia Fairall at 301-504-7517.