Ms. Bubbles Agrees to Pay $40,000 Civil Penalty for Failing to Report Drawstrings on Children’s Jackets

Children’s upper outerwear with drawstrings, including sweatshirts and jackets, poses a strangulation hazard that can result in serious injury or death.
March 09, 2011
Release Number: 11-162

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced today that Ms. Bubbles Inc., of Los Angeles, Calif., has agreed to pay a civil penalty in the amount of $40,000. The penalty agreement settles staff allegations that the firm knowingly failed to report to the CPSC immediately, as required by federal law, that its children's hooded jackets were sold with drawstrings through the hood. The penalty agreement has been provisionally accepted by the Commission.

Children’s upper outerwear with drawstrings, including sweatshirts and jackets, poses a strangulation hazard that can result in serious injury or death. In January 2009, CPSC and Ms. Bubbles announced the recall of 55,000 children’s jackets with drawstrings through the hood.

In February 1996, CPSC issued drawstring guidelines (pdf) to help prevent children from getting entangled and possibly strangling on hood and neck drawstrings in upper outerwear, such as jackets and sweatshirts. In May 2006, CPSC’s Office of Compliance announced (pdf) that children’s upper outerwear with drawstrings at the hood or neck would be regarded as defective and a substantial risk of injury to young children.

Federal law requires manufacturers, distributors, and retailers to report to CPSC immediately (within 24 hours) after obtaining information reasonably supporting the conclusion that a product contains a defect which could create a substantial product hazard, creates an unreasonable risk of serious injury or death, or violates any consumer product safety rule, or any other rule, regulation, standard, or ban enforced by the CPSC.

In agreeing to settle the matter, Ms. Bubbles Inc. denies CPSC's allegations that it knowingly violated the law.

Also available: CPSC Commissioner Nancy Nord’s statement on the vote.