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Retailers Pay $320,000 Fine For Selling Defective Childrens Clothing With Drawstrings

Kohl’s, Neiman Marcus, True Religion Apparel, Life is Good, Gilden Activewear, Dollar Days International, Cayre Group, and Seena International have agreed to pay $320,000 in penalties to settle allegations made by the Consumer Product Safety Commission that they failed to give immediate notice that they were selling clothing with drawstrings—a combination that is known for causingserious injuries to children.
In 1996, The CPSC had provided retailers and manufacturers with guidelines that suggested that no drawstrings should be placed in the neck or hood area of children’s clothing. It also recommended that drawstrings in pants or at the waist level only be a certain length. In 2006, the CPSC told clothing makers and sellers that any clothing that violated its guidelines would be recalled for defects.
All eight companies have recalled the clothing. They claim they were not aware they had violated the law.

Since April 2007, there have been over 18 recalls involving more than 190,000 units of children’s clothing that came with drawstrings around the waist or neck. There have been no reports of serious injuries associated with the recalls over the past year, but there have been serious injuries and fatalities in the past.
From 1985 to 1999, 48 incidents involving drawstrings on children’s clothing getting tangled on nursery furniture, playground equipment, or other items have been reported. 22 deaths were also reported, including a 14-year-old whose clothing drawstring got caught on a bus handrail. The girl died after she was dragged under the bus.
Drawstring on clothing can also pose a strangulation hazard for children if the strings were to wrap around the child’s neck too tightly or become tangled or stuck on an external object. Drawstrings with small objects attached to them that can easily fall off may pose a choking hazard for children that might swallow the pieces.
Our defective products liability law firm represents the families of children and infants that have been seriously injured or killed because of defective clothing, defective nursery products, dangerous toys, hazardous furniture, and other dangerous or defective consumer goods.
Clothing Retailers Settle With Safety Panel, Washington Post, April 23, 2008
Eight Companies Including Kohl’s Must Pay Fine, Associated Content, April 24, 2008
Children’s Rain Ponchos with Drawstrings Recalled by Daiso Due to Strangulation Hazard,, May 12, 2008
Related Web Resource:
CPSC Recommended Drawstring Guidelines (PDF)

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