Children's pajamas don't always meet flammability standards

By Hannah Rhodes, Consumer Watchdog Associate
Monday, March 14, 2022

 

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) enforces safety standards nationally. One standard designed to give caregivers peace of mind is the national flammability standard for children’s sleepwear.

There are two requirements for the standard: 

  • Sleepwear must be made of flame-resistant material;

  • or clothing must be tight-fitting for any children’s size between nine months to a size 14. 

The standard covers all of children’s sleepwear, including pajama sets, nightgowns and robes.

In 2021, we saw a stream of children’s sleepwear recalls. Last year, more than 20 percent of all children recalled products were for violations of the flammability standard for children’s sleepwear. Seven recalls alone occurred during a five-week period. 

Less than two months into 2022, there have already been seven recalls for children’s sleepwear, accounting for about 16,595 units of recalled sleepwear. Of the seven children’s sleepwear recalls, all were available online and four were sold exclusively on Amazon. 

Fire safety is important with children, especially those too young to understand the danger. Young children can put their sleeves over open flames or get too close to a heat source. The flame-resistant fabric or the tight-fit requirement are precautions that have already been implemented and should not be a burden for the caregiver to think about. 


While the failure to follow national standards is the company’s responsibility and the CPSC’s job to oversee, there are a few tips for any caregiver to be aware of when it comes to safety for nighttime: 

Check the tag. If the sleepwear is not flame-resistant, it should state, “For children’s safety, garment should fit snugly. This garment is not flame-resistant. Loose-fitting garment is more likely to catch fire.” 


Prices matter. While the sleepwear recalled so far this year (listed below) had price points from as low as $6 and as high as $65, average price points can tell you a lot about a product’s quality. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce (USCC) and the CPSC cautions consumersto watch out for unusually cheap products compared to other items in the same category. Low prices don’t mean it’s a great deal, especially if the low price comes at a trade for children’s safety. 


Look at the reviews. Reviews that are more straightforward are more likely to be truthful. The average consumer does not use flowery language or claim “it's the best thing ever.” The reviews that acknowledge the good and critique something they didn’t like tend to be the most honest reviews online. 


Be wary of products sold online. E-commerce has led to a litany of ways for bad actors to sell faulty products to the public. U.S. PIRG Education Fund has a list of tips on how to navigate between fake and authentic products. 


Sign up for recall notifications. Caregivers can sign up for emails about recalls at https://www.cpsc.gov/Newsroom/Subscribe and select infant/child products. There are other categories that can be selected such as general product recalls or products used outdoors. 


Children’s sleepwear recalls in 2022: