New Labels on Children's Sleepwear Alert Parents to Fire Dangers

June 26, 2000
Release Number: 00129

To prevent burn injuries, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) urges parents to make sure their children's sleepwear is either flame-resistant or snug-fitting. Loose-fitting T-shirts and other loose-fitting clothing made of cotton or cotton blends should not be used for children's sleepwear. These garments can catch fire easily, burn rapidly, and are associated with nearly 300 emergency-room-treated burn injuries to children each year. Children are most at risk from burn injuries that result from playing with fire (matches, lighters, candles, burners on stoves) just before bedtime and just after rising in the morning.

As of June 28, 2000, CPSC will require hangtags and permanent labels on snug-fitting children's sleepwear, made of cotton or cotton blends, to remind consumers that because the garment is not flame-resistant, it must fit snugly for safety. The new 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.

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 Vice Chairman Thomas Moore said, "It's safer to put your children in flame-resistant or snug-fitting sleepwear, not in other types of loose-fitting cotton or cotton-blend garments." Describing the new CPSC labels, Moore added, "Look for the new yellow hangtags. They tell you that the garment should fit snugly and they warn that a loose-fitting garment is more likely to catch fire."

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.

video icon  Conumers can also view a video clip about sleepwear labeling (transcript). This is in "streaming video" format.