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.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of the thousands of consumer products under the agency's jurisdiction. Deaths, injuries and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $900 billion annually. CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical or mechanical hazard. CPSC's work to ensure the safety of consumer products - such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters and household chemicals - contributed to a decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 30 years.
Federal law bars any person from selling products subject to a publicly-announced voluntary recall by a manufacturer or a mandatory recall ordered by the Commission.
To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury go online to www.SaferProducts.gov or call CPSC's Hotline at (800) 638-2772 or teletypewriter at (301) 595-7054 for the hearing impaired. Consumers can obtain news release and recall information at www.cpsc.gov, on Twitter @OnSafety or by subscribing to CPSC's free e-mail newsletters.