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Recalls in child sportswear caused by dangerous drawstrings

Recalls in child sportswear caused by dangerous drawstrings

The consumer product accounting for the largest number of different individual brands recalled was children’s apparel with drawstrings at the waist or around the hood. In 1996, the CPSC adopted guidelines for children’s apparel with drawstrings. The guidelines recommend that drawstrings around the waist of garments sized 2T to 16 extend no further than 3 inches outside the garment and no drawstrings at all around the hood of garments sized 2T to 12. While these guidelines are not mandatory, in 2006 the CPSC announced that any product not meeting the guidelines would be considered defective. Federal law requires companies that supply children’s apparel to report any items they manufacture or sell that have drawstrings at the hood or waist and the CPSC appears poised to recall all garments that do not apply.

In February, 2009, Hill Sportswear of Paramount California recalled 120,000 sweatshirts following the death of a 3-year old boy who died after the drawstring on this sweatshirt was caught on playground equipment and strangled him. On September 8, 2009, the CPSC announced a civil penalty of $100,000 against Hill Sportswear for failing to report the manufacture and sale of the sweat shirts. In total, 16 different brands of jackets and sweatshirts were recalled for drawstrings in 2009, but other than the incident involving Hill Sportswear, no other incidents or injuries were reported in connection with the recalls.

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