I was appalled to see that in the last two weeks, four recalls have been issued by the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) on children's hooded sweatshirts from four different manufacturers because they didn't comply with the CPSC guidelines. (Related: Stay up-to-date with the latest recalls) The reason this is so upsetting to me is that these guidelines were issued way back in 1996! Certain states have even made it illegal to sell kids' jackets, sweaters, and coats that have drawstrings. The fact that the recalled products come from small companies is simply no excuse. Any manufacturer that's making and selling items to the public, and let's face it, particularly for kids, should know and follow the industry standards that were put in place to keep us all safe. (Related: Children's products recalled because they contain lead) Too many times in the apparel business, I've seen manufacturers ignore the guidelines either because they didn't know they existed or because they got in the way of making a quick buck. Retailers have to wise up as well and make sure that if they're selling it, it's in compliance. (Related: How to Shop for Safe Toys)
You may think I'm making a big deal out of nothing, but one little girl who's injured when her drawstring gets caught on a swing is way too many! If your son or daughter can't leave the house without a sweatshirt, here's what you can do to keep him or her safe:
1) If his favorite one has drawstrings, cut it off- I mean right now!
2) No matter how cute, don't buy any sweatshirt, sweater, or jacket with drawstrings and be extra careful if you're shopping at a resale store or garage sale.
3) Don't forget to inspect hand-me-downs too!
For more information and additional safety tips see my blog drawstring dangers for children.
Before you shop, check out our guides to the top-rated products or stay up-to-date with our Good Housekeeping Research Institute blog.
Written by Kathleen Huddy, Textiles, Paper and Plastics Director for GHRI
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Photo Credit: CPSC