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Flammability Requirements for Children's Sleepwear

The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission has enforced flammability requirements for children’s sleepwear since at least 2001. These requirements are intended to protect children from burns. They require sleepwear between sizes 9 months and 14 to be flame resistant and able to self extinguish if caused to catch fire.

Children’s sleepwear, for purposes of the regulations, includes any article of clothing intended to be worn primarily for sleeping or activities related to sleeping, such as nightgowns, robes, pajamas, and loungewear. Most garments sized 9 months or under do not have to meet these requirements, but they do have to meet the general flammability requirements for clothing textiles.

To comply with the regulations, manufactures are required to test the fabrics being used to manufacture children’s sleepwear. Manufacturers are required to test the fabric, seams, and trim both as the garments are produced and after being laundered fifty times. The test consists of applying a gas flame for 3 seconds to a vertically held 3.5 inch by 10 inch specimen of the fabric or seam. The char length on the fabric is then measured to determine compliance.

Despite these relatively simple and straightforward testing requirements, children are still unnecessarily exposed to burn dangers because importers accept children’s sleepwear that is manufactured by companies which do not fully and faithfully comply with the requirements.

Most recently, on February 28, 2012, the USCPSC recalled more than 10,000 units of children’s pajamas and sleepwear because the garments do not meet federal flammability standards for children’s sleepwear. The sleepwear was sold between 2004 and 2011.

The recall involves all styles of pajama sets (tops and bottoms), separate pajama pants and nightgowns sold in boys and girls sizes 0-6X and 7-14. A garment label with the name “Papa Bear Loungeabouts" and a picture of a bear is sewn into the center back neckline on the outside of the garments. A hanging label features the same name and image. The sleepwear is 100% cotton poplin or 100% cotton flannel and the different styles come in a variety of colors and novelty print designs, including: bling, cows, Scotty dogs, hotrods, basketball, sports, vintage, rodeo, rock and roll, ballerinas, popcorn and more.

Photos of this product are available at www.cpsc.gov/CPSCPUB/PREREL/prhtml12/12122.html.

The pajamas were manufactured in China, imported by Papa Bear Loungeabouts, LLC, and sold at children’s clothing and specialty retailers nationwide and online from January 2004 to December 2011. The retailers include www.pajamamania.com, www.sleepyheads.com, www.bestdressedkids.com, www.comfykid.com, www.mybabypajamas.com, www.thepajamacompany.com, and www.zulily.com.

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