CPSC Says Certain Kids Outerwear with Drawstrings Pose Strangulation, Entrapment and Death Hazard to Kids

In a unanimous vote, members of the US Consumer Product Safety Commission have approved a new federal safety rule for children’s outerwear. Per the final rule, kids’ upper outerwear, sizes 2T through 16 with certain bottom or waist drawstrings and those with hood or neck drawstrings in sizes 2T through 12 possess substantial product hazards that could lead to serious injuries to children. If your child got hurt or died because he or she got entangled in or was strangled while wearing clothing with drawstring, please contact our child products liability law firm today.
The CPSC says it has received 26 reports over kids dying because a clothing drawstring got caught on a school bus door, playground slide, or another object, resulting in dragging incidents, entrapment, and/or strangulation. Serious injury or death can also result if a drawstring was to wrap too tightly around a child’s neck. A drawstring that has an object attached to it can also pose a choking hazard if the piece was to come off and the child was to swallow it.
It was in 1996 that the CPSC set up industry guidelines for kids’ clothing in regards to drawstrings. The guidelines proved effective in that they’ve decreased the number of child deaths from hood and neck drawstrings by 75%, while deaths from bottom or waist drawstrings have gone down 100%. In 2006, the CPSC’s Office of Compliance said that any kids’ upper outerwear with neck or hood drawstrings would be considered a defective product that posed a substantial child injury risk and therefore subject to recall. In 2008, our child injury law firm reported in one of our blog posts that between April 2007 and May 2008 over 18 recalls involving over 19,000 units of clothing with drawstrings was announced.
Recently, Macy’s agreed to pay a $750,000 penalty for not reporting drawstrings in kids’ outerwear. Federal law requires distributors, manufacturers, and retailers notify the CPSC of a product that is a serious injury or death hazard within 24 hours of discovering the possible defect. The penalty against Macy’s resolves allegations that the department store chain did not obey the law and immediately tell the CPSC that it sold children’s sweaters, sweatshirts, and jackets with neck drawstrings between 2007 and 2010 and that these posed a child strangulation and death hazard. The defective clothing was sold not just at Macy’s stores, but also at Robinsons-May and Bloomingdale’s. Some of the clothes were allegedly sold even after they were recalled.

Contact our child injury lawyers today.


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