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CPSC designates drawstrings as substantial safety hazard

July 6, 2011

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Washington – A new federal safety rule issued by the Consumer Product Safety Commission designates drawstrings on children’s coats, sweatshirts and other outerwear as substantial product safety hazards. This designation will strengthen CPSC’s authority to regulate drawstrings.

Drawstrings on children’s clothing can catch objects, presenting entrapment hazards. CPSC has received 26 reports of children dying when clothing drawstrings became caught in playground equipment or school bus doors. Drawstrings on the waist have been associated with dragging incidents.

Approved unanimously by CPSC on June 29, the new rule applies to hood or neck drawstrings in children’s upper outerwear, sizes 2T through 12, and certain waist or bottom drawstrings in outerwear, sizes 2T through 16.

“There is something particularly senseless … when a child is killed or injured because a manufacturer or retailer has failed to exclude drawstrings from clothing for a child,” said CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum. “To date, there have been far too many recalls involving this defect – more than 100 recalls in recent years involving millions of items of clothes.”

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