Children’s Clothing Regulations
In 1996, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) modified the children’s sleepwear flammability standards to permit the sale of children’s sleepwear made from non-flame resistant material for sizes 0-9 months or that meet certain snug-fitting dimensions. In 1999, the CPSC reaffirmed this rule with additional labeling requirements. Years of data continue to support the facts that this sleepwear is safe. Although efforts were made in previous Congress’s to overturn this standard, no such efforts have been made thus far in the 110th Congress.
Side By Side Comparison
Frequently Asked Questions, A Children's Sleepwear Regulatory Summary
New Guidelines for Children's Sleepwear
Download the Sleepwear Regulations for sizes up to 6X
Download the Sleepwear Regulations for sizes 7 to 14
Background Information on Children's Sleepwear Standards
AAFA on the Issue:
AAFA strongly supports the retention of the 1996 children’s sleepwear amendments. In order to keep the lines of communication open between the CPSC and AAFA members, AAFA’s Childrenswear Division hosted a reception with the now former CPSC Chairman Hal Stratton on March 9, 2006. Mr. Stratton offered remarks and took questions concerning children’s apparel issues. A follow up meeting was held at the CPSC headquarters in June 2006 with former Chairman Stratton and his compliance team to discuss children’s apparel and general wearing apparel issues AAFA companies are facing.
The Latest News:
Only days before the new law was supposed to go into effect, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued guidance February 6 to further clarify how the lead standard (that goes into effect today, February 10) will apply to children's products. The lead standard (600ppm) applies to all children's products (marketed or intended to be sold to children 12 years of age or younger) – even those products already on store shelves. The CPSC announced that they will not impose penalties against anyone for making, importing, distributing or selling a children's product that is made of natural materials such as cotton, wool or wood (outlined further in CPSC guidance), children's apparel or other textile products made from dyed or undyed textiles and non-metallic thread and trim used or children's books printed after 1985 even if the product contains more than 600ppm lead. However, the CPSC advised that if a seller has knowledge that one of these products contained more than 600ppm lead and continues to sell the product, they still will be subject to corrective actions. The CPSC further advised that the manufacturer may determine whether a component part is inaccessible so long as the determination is consistent with the CPSC's proposed guidance or is based on a reasonable reading of the inaccessibility requirement laid out in the legislation. The CPSC also issued an interim final rule, effective today (February 10), which establishes alternative lead limits for certain electronic devices.
Companies must still comply with all reporting obligations under federal law and immediately tell the Commission if they learn of a children's product in the marketplace that exceeds the new lead limits that go into effect today (February 10). Furthermore, Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) generally prohibits the export for sale of children's products that exceed the new lead limits. Instead, those products will be considered "hazardous substances" and must be destroyed accordingly.
The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York on February 5 the opinion of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) regarding the application of the phthalate ban under the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA). As a result, the CPSIA's phthalate ban, as of today (February 10) applies to all children's toys and child care articles, both new products as well as inventory. The CPSC had issued an advisory opinion on November 17, 2008 stating that, unlike the lead standard, the phthalate limits established in the CPSIA do not apply to products manufactured prior to February 10, 2009. This opinion was met with strong criticism from consumer groups, state Attorney Generals and some members of Congress. As a result, two consumer advocacy groups (the National Resources Defense Council, Inc. and Public Citizen, Inc.) sued the CPSC to reverse the opinion. The Court argued that the language and the structure of the CPSIA unambiguously states that the phthalate provisions apply to all children's toys and child care articles offered for sale after February 10, 2009 – including existing inventory. AAFA had already received two letters from the CPSC clarifying the application of the phthalate standard to children's apparel and footwear. The CPSC General Counsel stated that all footwear as well as most apparel items (except for pajamas and bibs made for children age 3 and under) are exempt from the standard. AAFA further submitted comments January 12 arguing that children's pajamas and bibs are not child care items and should therefore be exempt from the standard as well. The CPSC is expected to provide further guidance on this issue shortly.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) 2-0 on February 5 to reject an petition to delay today's implementation of the new lead standard under the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA). As a result, the new lead standard goes into effect today (February 10), as expected, and applies to all products in the marketplace, both new products as well as all current inventory. In one small positive note, however, the had already voted to stay the enforcement of the testing and certification requirements for some children's standards, including the lead standard, for a year.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has recently approved proposed rulemakings regarding the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) lead standard that goes into effect on February 10. The proposed rulemakings would exempt out some natural materials, provide a process to exempt out other materials from the lead testing requirement and clarify the application of the lead standard to both inaccessible components as well as electronics. Comments on the proposals are due February 17. AAFA lead the entire textile and apparel supply in sending a December 31 letter urging the CPSC to clarify several points related to the proposed lead testing exemptions before issuing a final rule. Specifically, the letter requests that the CPSC extend the proposed lead testing exemptions to include processed natural fibers and processed synthetic fibers. The industry has submitted thousands of test results demonstrating that textiles are inherently lead free – even when processed into final products, like travel goods. Given information already submitted and the fast approaching February 10 deadline for implementation of the new lead requirements, the letter requests immediate action on this issue.
Please note that, with a February 17 comment deadline, the final rules on these critical issues, including the exclusion of certain components like textiles and certain types of leather as well as establishing a definition of "inaccessible parts" for the testing requirement under the lead standard, may not be issued until well after the new lead standard goes into effect on February 10.
In a related development, on January 22, AAFA together with the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), will hold a public meeting with the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to discuss the application of the lead standard to fabric. AAFA has submitted thousands of test reports proving lead is not in fabrics – regardless of dying or processing. However, the CPSC did not include all fabrics in the proposed testing exemption rulemaking.
AAFA submitted comments January 16 responding to Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) opinions on the application of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act's (CPSIA) phthalate ban to apparel and footwear. The comments specifically focused on the CPSC opinion that specific items of children's clothing (such as bibs and pajamas) fall under the definition of "child care articles" and therefore are covered by the phthalate ban. Footwear is already exempt from the ban.
In response to over 23,000 e-mails from over 7,500 constituents expressing concern over the potential negative impact of the new law could have, many members of Congress begun to express concern over the impact the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) on companies, particularly small businesses. Even the moore 2009 1 16.pdf">authors of the original legislation have now written to the CPSC requesting that the CPSC provide clarification on the implementation of the new law as soon as possible.
Congressman Anthony Weiner (D-NY) a letter January 7 to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) regarding concerns about the negative impact the new Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) would have on the children's wear industry. Congressman Gresham Barrett (R-SC) also a letter January 9 to Congressman Henry Waxman (D-CA), Chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, and Congressman Bobby Rush (D-IL), Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection, expressing his concerns over the implementation of the CPSIA – particularly the adverse impact on small businesses. A number of other members of Congress have also started to get involved as well so expect more letters to come. Much of this is due to the tremendous amount of opposition and concerns over the implementation of CPSIA. Furthermore, 6,500 activists from around the country sent 21,000 letters to Congress in the past two months alone through the AAFA website urging Congress to fix the law.
AAFA members are reminded that all children's products manufactured on or after December 22 that are subject to the lead in paint standard must be tested by a Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)-accredited third party testing facility. The lead in paint standard applies to painted materials that can be scraped off –- for example appliqués on footwear or heat transfers on apparel. The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) phases in the effective dates of the third party testing requirement, with the lead in paint third party testing requirement being implemented first. By September 2009, all children's products will be covered by third party testing requirement. Please see the AAFA summary of the legislation for more information.
On December 15, the CPSC issued a request for comment on mandatory third party testing for certain children’s products – specifically on component based testing. As it stands, the third party testing requirement (for children’s products) is product based meaning the product must be tested once assembled. However, the CPSC is required to issue a rulemaking within 15 months of enactment on the third party testing requirements meaning the CPSC has discretion on enforcement and implementation of the third party testing rule. The comments are due by January 30, 2009. Please contact Rebecca Mond at 703.797.9038 if you would like your company’s comments included in AAFA’s comments.
The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), while well-intentioned, has been dubbed the "law of unintended consequences." The media has begun to focus on the impact the legislation will have on all consumer product industries – particularly America's small businesses (see article below). On top of that, many blogs have begun to comment on this issue. While everyone is concerned for the safety of their children, consumers also are beginning to realize that the new law imposes requirements that would overly burden US companies, particularly small businesses, without adding to product safety.
AAFA posted a letter online for members and others to contact their members of Congress to alert them of the significant problems with CPSIA. Already, over 2,500 e-mails have been sent to members of Congress. Please continue to encourage co-workers and others to use the letter and get the message out that significant change must be made to the new law in order to prevent potentially devastating consequences for America's small businesses and the US economy.
On November 25, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) a letter clarifying the application of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act's (CPSIA) phthalate ban to wearing apparel. The letter was written in response to AAFA's October 17 request to omit children's wearing apparel from the definitions of "children's toy" and "child care articles" – products subject to the phthalate ban under the new law. While the CPSC General Counsel confirmed that wearing apparel generally is not considered a "children's toy" nor a "child care article," there are some gray areas (including costumes, children's pajamas [for children three and under] and bibs) that may fall under the definition of products covered by the phthalate ban. However, within these categories, the CPSC seems only concerned with the parts that present a risk (for example, padded feet on a baby's sleeper or vinyl in a baby's bib). AAFA will work with the CPSC to confirm that testing should be confined to only the elements that present a risk and not components that are inherently phthalate free.
On November 25, the CPSC the voluntary recall of 24,000 newborn and infant pants due to a choking hazard. The pants were recalled by JC Penney because of a metal snap at the waistband that could potentially detach. No injuries or incidents were reported.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) General Counsel issued a letter on November 17 addressing the effective date of the phthalate and lead standards under the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA). In the letter, the CPSC General Counsel first stated that she will not reconsider revisiting her advisory opinion that states the February 10 lead ban applies to all inventory (including those on the shelves). While she is aware of the significant economic consequences this decision has, the General Counsel wrote that CPSIA does not allow her flexibility to interpret the effective date otherwise. However, the letter goes on to say that the phthalate standard (also in effect on February 10) that bans certain phthalates from children's toys and child care articles will only apply to products manufactured on or after February 10. As you may recall, AAFA wrote two letters to the CPSC requesting for clarification on how the phthalate standard applies to and products. AAFA has since a letter from the General Counsel clarifying the application of the standard to footwear. AAFA has still not received a response to its letter on apparel. The General Counsel's most recent letter and other information on the new law are available on the CPSC website.
In an effort to create a reasonable testing program for the lead standard that goes into effect on February 10 under the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), AAFA sent out a request to AAFA's Product Safety Council to submit data on tests done on low risk components (such as textiles, dyes and shoelaces). AAFA is also collecting information on components in footwear and clothing that should be considered inaccessible. The goal is to compile the data and submit comments to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) requesting the exemption of certain inherently lead-free components from the lead testing requirements under CPSIA and create reduced testing programs for other low risk components. If you have any information or questions, please contact Rebecca Mond at 703.797.9038.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) postponed its December 4 phthalate meeting in order to review comments submitted by the public on the application of the phthalate standard enacted under the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA). AAFA's Product Safety Council, however, will still hold its first meeting on December 3 in Washington,DC as previously scheduled. Public comments on phthalates provisions under CPSIA are due on January 12. While AAFA has received a letter from the CPSC General Counsel clarifying the application of the phthalate ban to children's footwear, AAFA still has not received a similar determination regarding apparel.
On October 29, 2008, AAFA submitted comments to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) in regards to the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), and specifically, the conformity assessment certificate. The letter requests that the CPSC be flexible in their requirements for the certificate. The letter also emphasized the importance of allowing an electronic based certificate and allowing companies to exclude some business confidential information. Finally, AAFA requested an “education period” be implemented (similar to the Lacey Act) allowing both the CPSC and the general business community time to adjust to the brand new requirement.
Over the past month, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has announced three separate recalls relating to children's apparel. The first two involved children's hooded sweatshirts and jackets recalled by Orioxi International and Empress Arts due to strangulation hazards posed by the drawstrings. Circo also recalled children's socks due to choking hazards.
So far this year, the CPSC has already announced 22 recalls for apparel and footwear - all involving children's apparel. In 2007, the CPSC announced 26 apparel and footwear related recalls - 24 of them were childrenswear. With the passage of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008, many believe the number of recalls will go up even further in the future.
President George W. Bush signed the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (H.R. 4040) into law August 14. The new law expands the definition of products covered by the new rules to include “any consumer product designed or intended primarily for children 12 years of age or younger.”
For products subject to the new law, the law severely limits the amount of lead to trace levels, starting in February 2009. Further, it greatly reduces the amount of phthalates (used in plasticizers to make plastic softer and more malleable) that can exist in any product used by a child 12 years of age or younger when he or she “plays” (which is not clearly defined under the law). Under the new rules, the affected products must undergo additional testing (by certified third parties), must comply with additional labeling requirements and must meet certain documentation requirements.
Beginning November 12, all manufacturers of consumer products will need to provide a conformity assessment certification for their products. Ultimately, that certification will be based on third party testing for products intended and marketed for children. Finally, the new law authorizes a whole new set of enforcement mechanisms to ensure compliance with the new rules. For a detailed summary of the new law, please click here.
At AAFA’s July 31 Product Safety Conference in New York, Chairwoman Nancy Nord of the Consumer Product Safety Commission announced that the letter addressing children’s loungewear, first released in December of 1996, will be reissued. The letter confirms that children’s loungewear must comply with CPSC children’s sleepwear flammability standards, stating that, “CPSC staff views ‘[children’s] loungewear’ as garments worn primarily for sleep related activities. Therefore, ‘[children’s] loungewear’ must comply with the children’s sleepwear standards.”
Last week, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), announced the voluntary recall of approximately 6,200 infants’ garments imported by Rashti & Rashti due to a choking hazard posed by the snaps on the garments. No injuries related to the products were reported. Information on all CPSC recalls can be found on the CPSC website. For more information on product safety, please visit AAFA’s website.
Last week, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), announced voluntary recalls of approximately 1,500 girl’s sandals sold by Nordstrom's and 3,000 children’s jackets and hoodies with drawstrings sold by Coolibar. The sandals were recalled due to a choking hazard posed by the flower embellishments on the sandals that can detach and the hoodies and jackets were recalled due to entrapment hazards. No injuries related to the products were reported. Information on all CPSC recalls can be found on the CPSC website. For more information on product safety, please visit AAFA’s website.
On June 10, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced the recall of approximately 28,000 children's camouflage pajama sets manufactured by The Children's Place Retail Stores, Inc. due to excessive levels of lead in the screen print on the shirt. Additionally, on June 12, CPSC recalled approximately 1,800 children’s overalls manufactured by Sara Lynn Togs due to choking hazards posed by the buttons on the shoulder straps.This is the first lead recall since February 2005 and the first childrenswear recall since November 2007 that doesn’t involve drawstrings. No injuries related to either product were reported. Information on all CPSC recalls can be found on the CPSC website. For more information on product safety, please visit AAFA's website.
On July 31, the House Energy and Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection approved several bills to address consumer product safety for children. One bill, H.R. 1699, deals with product registration cards, requiring certain manufacturers to present registration forms at the time of purchase that facilitate recalls of certain infant and toddler products. The bill does not pertain to apparel or footwear at this point.
A second bill, H.R. 2474, provides for an increase in the maximum civil penalty (up to $10 million) for violations of the Consumer Product Safety Act. If passed, this raise in penalty will be “phased-in” over a period of 2 years.
National Burn Center Reporting Database First Year Report on Clothing-Related Burn Injuries to Children.