OnSafety is the Official Blog Site of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Here you'll find the latest safety information as well as important messages that will keep you and your family safe. We hope you'll visit often!

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Sleepwear Safety: A Success Story

In recalls of children’s sleepwear, including recent recalls, you’ll see the following line:

“The pajamas fail to meet the federal flammability standards for children’s sleepwear posing a risk of burn injury to children.”

What does that line mean for a parent or grandparent buying pajamas for a child?

CPSC enforces a regulation that requires that children’s sleepwear to protect children from burn injuries if they come in contact with a small open flame, such as from matches, lighters, candles, stoves, ranges, space heaters and fireplaces.

The regulation was enacted in the early 1970s in response to children suffering burn injuries, which typically happened before bedtime and around breakfast. Today, CPSC rarely receives reports of sleepwear-related fires.

When you buy pajamas, you’ll see two types: loose-fitting and tight-fitting. Loose fitting pajamas must be flame resistant. That means that the fabric shouldn’t ignite near a small, open flame. And if it does ignite, it should stop burning.  Some loose-fitting items are nightgowns, loungewear, robes or any loose clothing intended to be worn mainly for sleeping.

Tight-fitting pajamas fit close to a child’s body. The fabric does not need to be flame resistant because of how it fits. Tight-fitting pajamas do not ignite easily, and if the pajamas ignite, they do not readily burn. You should always see a label on these pajamas telling you to wear them snugly.

CPSC tests children’s sleepwear in our product testing lab. Here’s what happens with sleepwear that meets the standard versus sleepwear that doesn’t:

 

 

To watch this video, you may need to download the Adobe Flash player.

If you own any of the pajamas recalled, take the pajamas away from your children. Contact the recalling company for a refund, exchange or store credit as described in the recalls.

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This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2012/07/sleepwear-safety-a-success-story/

Drawstrings Not Allowed

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Look at your child’s jackets, sweatshirts and sweaters. See nothing unusual? Now, look again. Do they have drawstrings?

hood drawstring you should not see on your child's clothes

For reasons we show below, CPSC passed a rule in July 2011, designating most drawstrings in children’s upper outerwear as hazardous. This essentially means that you shouldn’t see for sale, and your child shouldn’t wear, jackets, sweatshirts and sweaters with dangerous drawstrings. That means no neck or hood drawstrings for upper outerwear in sizes 2T through 12 or S through L. In addition, certain waist or bottom drawstrings are considered dangerous.

waist drawstring you shouldn't see

These waist drawstrings and the hood drawstrings above are what you should not see on your child’s clothes.

With waist drawstrings, there are three things to look for:

  • When the clothing is at its fullest width, the drawstring should not hang out more than 3 inches.
  • There shouldn’t be any toggles or other attachments on the drawstring.
  • The drawstring must be stitched into the back so that it cannot be pulled to one side.

Here’s why:

Drawstrings can catch on items such as playground equipment or vehicle doors. CPSC has received 26 reports of children who have died when drawstrings in their clothes got tangled on playground slides, school bus doors and other objects. Waist and bottom drawstrings that were caught in cars and buses resulted in dragging incidents.

CPSC first issued guidelines on drawstrings in February 1996. These were then incorporated into a voluntary standard in 1997. Since the clothing industry started following the voluntary standard, deaths involving neck or hood drawstrings  decreased by 75 percent and there have been no deaths associated with waist or bottom drawstrings.

Still, we continue to see jackets, sweatshirts, and sweaters made with drawstrings that are dangerous. CPSC has issued more than 130 recalls involving clothes with drawstrings including 8 recalls between November 2011 and May 8, 2012. Here are some recalls from  just the past month (as of publication of this blog). So, check your child’s upper outerwear and make sure to follow the instructions on these recalls.

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This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2012/05/drawstrings-not-allowed/

Plastic Film Covers

You might know them best from your smart phone or the panel on a new kitchen appliance. They’re on many consumer products with “scratchable” surfaces these days, including on children’s toys and mirrors. Plastic film coverings are intended as packaging. Remove them before you give a toy to a child.

If you don’t remove that film, or don’t even realize it’s on a toy, your child could find it before you do. They could mouth it and gag, or even choke on it.

That’s what reportedly happened to two young children playing in their Fisher-Price Luv U Zoo Jumperoo bouncy seats. The mirror on the toy comes with a plastic film cover on it. A Washington state family told a Seattle TV station that they didn’t realize the plastic was on the toy until their son gagged, couldn’t breathe and eventually coughed it up.

"X" Sticker and black arrow on plastic film that covers mirror on the Fisher-Price Luv U Zoo Jumperoo
In the middle of the plastic film that arrived on this type of toy examined at CPSC was a separate clear sticker with a big red X. The X sticker can pull off without grabbing the plastic film on the toy mirror. On one side of the plastic film is an arrow that points at the X. Again, a parent can pull the arrow off without pulling off the plastic film.

If you see the film on a mirror or other product without an arrow or “X” to guide you to remove it, you might not even realize that the plastic cover is there. So, take an extra look at your children’s toys. Are there mirrors or scratchable surfaces that seem like they should be shiny but aren’t? If so, look for a thin piece of plastic, remove it and throw it away.

Thin plastic on a child's toy.

This piece of plastic on a child's toy is thin and difficult to notice if you've removed the arrow. Remove plastic like this from all items that you give to your young child.

Other “grown-up toys” like cellphones, video monitors and even stainless steel appliances, have similar plastic film coverings. In all cases, don’t let the “new toy” distract you from carefully removing and discarding the film if you have a small child in your home.

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This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2012/04/plastic-film-covers/

Infant Swings: What to Look For

baby in an infant swingCPSC is making progress in establishing a new safety rule for infant swings. Many of you moms and dads know these products well, as they have helped your baby fall asleep at 3 a.m., 3 p.m., and everywhere in between.

While working through the safety of these swings, CPSC staff has assembled some interesting information for new moms and dads:

First, when you bring your new baby home, remember that newborns and young infants don’t have the muscle tone or strength to keep their heads up. So, when you put them into a swing, make sure that your baby is lying down.

It’s likely that you’ll see this warning on your swing: “Use only in the most reclined seat position until infant can hold head up unassisted.”

That warning is there to alert you to a safety concern. Infants who are placed sitting up can end up in a slumped-over position that blocks their breathing. Of 15 deaths related to infant swings between January 2002 and May 18, 2011, five infants died from being slumped over. Moms, Dads: An upright swing is not a safe spot for your infant to sleep.

Restraints, meanwhile, accounted for the highest proportion of injuries. Have any of you had this happen in your swing?

  • Your baby leans forward or sideways and falls or nearly falls out of the seat.
  • Your baby leans back, causing the seat to tilt backwards. Your baby then slides out backwards onto his or her head.

If you’ve seen this happen, you aren’t alone. Both of these are common. Here’s some information from CPSC staff:

“As infants start to learn to sit up on their own, they tend to lean forward in the swing. If the infant leans forward while the swing is moving backwards, the infant’s upper body can fall out of the swing. A number of the incidents reported finding the infant hanging upside down with the waist/crotch restraint still attached.”

Infant swing manufacturers have begun making swings with a 5-point harness. CPSC staff believes that this restraint could help prevent babies from falling or getting trapped in a swing.

Consider these hazards when you are buying a new or used infant swing and know that CPSC staff is working hard to strengthen the safety standard for these products and make it mandatory.

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This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2012/02/infant-swings-what-to-look-for/

Infants in Bumbo Baby Seats Falling from Elevated Surfaces and Suffering Serious Head Injuries

Bumbo Baby Seat

Are you putting your infant in a Bumbo seat that looks like this, on an elevated surface? If so, STOP and read this warning.

NEVER put a Bumbo baby seat on a table, countertop, chair or other elevated surface.

ONLY put an infant in a Bumbo seat if it is on a floor.

Infants placed in Bumbo seats can escape from the seat by arching their backs, leaning forward or sideways or rocking. Infants age 3 to 10 months old have suffered serious head injuries—such as a skull fracture or concussion—from falling from a Bumbo baby seat when this happens.

CPSC and Bumbo International are aware of at least 45 incidents in which infants fell out of Bumbo seat while it was being used on an elevated surface. These incidents happened after an October 2007 voluntary recall of the product to add a warning on the front of the seat against use on elevated surfaces.

Since the recall, CPSC and Bumbo International have learned that 17 of those infants, ages 3 to 10 months, suffered skull fractures. These incidents and injuries involved both recalled Bumbo seats and Bumbo seats sold after the recall with the additional on-product warnings.

CPSC and Bumbo International are also aware of an additional 50 reports of infants falling or maneuvering out of Bumbo seats used on the floor and at unknown elevations. These incidents include two reports of skull fractures and one report of a concussion that occurred when infants fell out of Bumbo seats used on the floor. These injuries reportedly occurred when the infants struck their heads on hard flooring, or in one case, on a nearby toy.

At the time of the 2007 recall announcement, CPSC was aware of 28 falls from the product, three of which resulted in skull fractures to infants who fell or maneuvered out of the product used on an elevated surface.

CPSC and Bumbo International are now aware of at least 46 falls from Bumbo seats used on elevated surfaces that occurred prior to the 2007 recall, resulting in 14 skull fractures, two concussions and one incident of a broken limb.

About 3.85 million Bumbo seats have been sold in the U.S. since 2003.

A look at YouTube shows babies sitting in the seats on all sorts of unsafe surfaces: tables, bathroom counters, kitchen counters and couches and even in a kiddie pool. These are NOT safe ways to use this product.

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This address for this post is: http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2011/11/infants-in-bumbo-baby-seats-falling-from-elevated-surfaces-and-suffering-serious-head-injuries/