Fire safety is a topic we cover on the news each year when space heaters and old furnaces tend to catch fire. This got me thinking about the fire safety warnings on my sons' pajamas. Some of their jammies are tight and some are loose.
So what are the fire safety requirements for P.J.s and why do they exist? Here's what I found:
Kid's sleepwear is required to be either snug fitting or made out of fire-resistant material, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. There are three different types of acceptable sleepwear for kids:
1. Flame-Resistant loose-fitting sleepwear made of polyester
2. Snug-fitting sleepwear out of natural fabrics like cotton
3. Chemically Treated sleepwear that's loose-fitting and cotton
Q: Which type of sleepwear is best? (Ebay of all places has this list of questions/answers that are very helpful)
A: Each solution has its pros and cons: Loose-fitting polyester fabric may fit more comfortably, but does not “breathe” against warm little bodies the way natural fabrics do. Snug-fitting natural fabric can breathe well but may be too tight to be comfortable. And loose-fitting natural fabric treated with flame retardants is comfortable and breathes well, but is typically more expensive because of the costs associated with treating the fabric.
Q: Does all children’s sleepwear meet safety requirements?
A: Children’s sleepwear from Infant size 9 months to Children size 14 must meet these safety requirements if the manufacturer does not wish to receive a hefty penalty. Items marketed as sleepwear that are not made of flame-resistant materials and do not contain flame retardant chemicals must include a brightly-colored tag with the statement: "Wear Snug-fitting, Not Flame Resistant."
Q: Do pajamas or nighties sold as “loungewear” have to meet the same safety requirements?
A: No. This is a loophole that some manufacturers use to avoid the extra costs associated with providing safe-fitting sleepwear. As long as the “loungewear” (or “underwear”) designs look different from their sleepwear product and is kept in a separate location of the store, they are permitted to classify the items under other categories.
Q: It sounds as though finding comfortable and safe sleepwear is nearly impossible unless I want to pay an arm and a leg for it.
A: That is true, but only in some cases. During the cooler months, or if your child’s bedroom is cool at night, he or she will be perfectly comfortable in loose-fitting, flame-resistant polyester. If you prefer a natural fabric that breathes, you can always go up a size or two so that their sleepwear isn’t so tight. (Note: the CPSC does not recommend doing so, as it presents an increased risk of injury caused by fire.)
Q: If I can buy a larger size in the more comfortable cotton sleepwear, why would I even consider spending more on fabrics treated with flame-retardant chemicals?
A: Because it’s ultimately the safest alternative. The companies that invest the time and money into producing flame-retardant natural sleepwear fabrics generally also produce higher quality clothing, which means it will fit better and last longer than some of the less expensive options.-NewsAnchorMom Jen