Fit, warmth and fashion usually top parental concerns when shopping for sleepwear for their children.
Flammability also warrants consideration, based on recent product recall notices issued by Health Canada. Since August 27, 2021, flammable pyjamas and children’s costumes have been the subject of at least 15 recall notices.
The products are described as pyjamas, sleepware, bathrobes and costumes. The composition materials range from 100% cotton to 97% polyester. But they all earned recalls for failing “to meet flammability requirements for children’s sleepwear, posing a risk of burn injuries to children,” under either the Children’s Sleepwear Regulations or Toys Regulations (for the costumes).
There is also little consistency in terms of the manufacturers or distributors. While about half of the affected products were manufactured in China, other nations of origin include Turkey, Portugal, Taiwan, India, Morocco, Bangladesh and Pakistan.
The strangulation, entanglement and vehicular dragging hazards posed by drawstrings on children’s upper body apparel produced an equal number of product recalls. Between December 13 and 24, there were 12 recalls of products related to drawstrings.
If the drawstrings were around the neck or head, they were flagged as strangulation hazards. Drawstrings in sleeves, waists and wrists resulted in recalls because they “can become caught on playground equipment, fences, or other objects and result in strangulation, or in the case of a vehicle, the child being dragged.”
In the case of drawstrings, parents are instructed to remove the drawstrings for continued use or return products to the retailer. For the flammable clothing, parents are instructed to dispose of the flammable clothing and/or contact the retailer or distributor to gain a refund.
Health Canada’s online database is searchable, which is important because there is no guarantee that a Health Canada recall notice will make products disappear from store shelves or web sites.
Health Canada also provides a number of Twitter feeds, email notifications and mobile apps to help consumers stay aware of recalls and warnings. There is a Consumer Product Incident Report Form for consumers who have experienced health or safety incidents.
Consumers who may be worried safety regulators are not giving product safety problems the attention they deserve can also share their experiences online at the Consumers Council of Canada homepage.