New Rules on Drawstrings
Drawstrings have been an issue for the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) for years, as the administration is constantly looking for ways to make products safer for children. Drawstrings have posed a particular problem due to their obvious strangulation hazard- CPSC has received 26 reports of children who have died when their drawstring became entangled on playground slides, school bus doors, and other objects. There are also risks associated with waist and bottom drawstrings- there have been incidents of the strings getting caught in car doors and the children wearing them being dragged by the vehicle.
Since its first drawstring guidelines were issued in 1996, CPSC has reported that fatal incidents involving garments with drawstrings through the neck or hood have decreased by 75%, and fatalities associated with drawstrings through the waist or bottom have dropped 100%. The new guidelines further clarify which articles of clothing are considered to be hazardous for certain age groups of children.
Drawstring Safety Rules
The new regulations charge that certain types clothing with drawstrings are of particular risk to youth. According to the CPSC, “drawstrings can catch or become entangled with objects, such as a car door or playground slide, posing dragging, strangulation entrapment hazards to children.” Those considered hazardous are:
- Children's upper outerwear in sizes 2T through 12 with neck or hood drawstrings
- Children's upper outerwear in sizes 2T through 16, with certain waist or bottom drawstrings
- 1996- The first drawstring guidelines were incorporated into an industry voluntary standard.
- 2006- CPSC's Office of Compliance banned certain outerwear with drawstrings because of “a substantial risk of injury to young children.”
- 2006- 2010- CPSC participated in 115 recalls of products with drawstrings that did not comply with standards.
- 2008- The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) provided CPSC with the authority to specify, by rule, for any consumer product or class of consumer products, characteristics whose existence or absence shall be deemed a substantial product hazard.
- 2011- New rule on drawstrings was passed on July 1st.
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