Safe Children's Sleepwear
In 1996, the Consumer Product Safety Commission voted 2-1 to lower a long-established standard, and permit the use of flammable material, such as cotton, in older children's sleepwear as long as the garments were snug fitting and presumably more difficult to ignite. The safety standard was dropped completely for sleepwear for children younger than nine months. The decision overturned a 1972 requirement that all children's pajamas, nightgowns and other sleepwear be made of flame-resistant materials. Since the CPSC lowered the safety standards for children's pajamas, Shriners Hospitals for Children, which treat more than 20% of all major pediatric burn injuries in the United States, experienced a significant increase in sleepwear-related burn injuries. Legislation to repeal the 1996 CPSC amendments was introduced in past sessions of Congress, but was not passed into law.
In July of 2003, the CPSC, working together with the ABA and Shriners, launched the National Burn Center Reporting System (NBCRS), a data collection effort designed to capture information on all burn incidents involving apparel-related burn injuries to children under the age of 15. From March of 2003 to December of 2005, 462 cases were submitted. According the CPSC analysis, the data revealed no increase in death and injury attributable to the exemption. While the NBCRS data collection effort has been discontinued, the CPSC continues to urge consumers to submit incident or injury reports that are either directly related to this change or involve a different hazard with the same product. Go to: https://www.cpsc.gov/cgibin/incident.aspx to submit a report.