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CPSC Re-Advises Parents About Putting Kids to Bed in Loose-Fitting Clothes

It doesn't seem like such a big deal - putting kids to bed in a big T-shirt or other oversized outfit. But while they may seem comfortable, they're also very risky - blamed for 200-300 emergency room visits for burn injuries every year, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
The CPSC, in re-issuing the warning, says the risk from the outfits are two fold. One is that their billowyness makes them more susceptible should a child encounter an open flame. The other is that the material from which such shirts are made is cotton - which is far more flammable than the materials normally used for sleepwear.

What the CPSC wants you to put your children in is either a sleep outfit made from flame- resistant material or, if you insist on a natural fiber such as cotton, one that is snug-fitting. Allowance of the snug-fitting outfits is a recent change in attitude at the CPSC that has been criticized by some safety advocates.

But the commission says snug-fitting sleepwear does not ignite easily and, even if ignited, doesn't burn as rapidly because there is little air under the garment to feed a fire.

Under federal safety rules, garments sold as children's sleepwear for sizes larger than 9 months and up to size 14 must be either flame-resistant or snug-fitting. Most makers of that sleepwear advertise their compliance with federal guidelibes with hangtags that come with the garment when it's purchased.

"It is safer to put your children in flame-resistant or snug-fitting sleepwear, not over-size, loose- fitting cotton or cotton blend garments," says CPSC vice chairman Thomas Moore.

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