Joined: 17 Mar 2006
Location: ID Spudville
|Posted: Thu Apr 03, 2008 10:06 am Post subject: Drawstrings and Child Safety
|As an extension of the Drawstrings and Child Safety blog entry, I have written a letter to ASTM requesting expansion/clarification of the drawstring guidelines. It would help if others also wrote a letter. Below is a copy of the letter I wrote:
100 Barr Harbor Road
West Conshohocken PA 19428
Dear Leonard Morrissey,
My name is Esther Melander and I am a technical designer of children's clothing. I have received numerous questions over the last ten years about standards regarding ties in various child related products. I do not have an easy answer to give design entrepreneurs and a guideline would help. I would like to see the adoption of a set of standards on this topic and it is my hope that ASTM International could lead such an effort. These guidelines would be related to the drawstring guidelines recommended by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, but expanded for clarity.
With the increase in the number of recent product recalls involving drawstrings, child product/apparel designers have asked about related products. The concern is that related products might contain an entanglement, choking, or trip hazard. What began as a voluntary guideline for drawstrings in upper outer wear for children 2T-16 has resulted in unintended consequences for related products. Any children's wear designer has to question the use of ties for any age child in any piece of clothing. Potential sources of strangulation or entrapment are everywhere.
Products that are cause for concern:
Bibs with ties made of bias binding, ribbon, or fabric.
Girls dresses with waist ties made of fabric or trim. The ties may contribute to the design of the dress, but also provide a fitting mechanism.
Dresses with detached sashes. Some sashes may measure 60-72 inches and are not permanently affixed to the garment.
Dresses, tops, or pants with added trim that may be loose, especially ribbon dangles.
Hats with ties made of ribbon or fabric.
Hats/Bonnets with straps, either attached on both ends or attached on one end with some type of closure on the other.
A successful guideline would indicate whether ties were appropriate on certain products or how long the ties should extend from a knot.
Below is a link to the International Drawstring Requirements. Pages 6 & 7 specifically refer to the use of ties in alternate locations. While these guidelines are helpful, they could use some additional clarification.
I have worked with various large retailers in developing private label products and they each have their own set of standards. Smaller boutique companies create product with less regard to safety. It would be ideal to have some consistency in the matter.
I would be happy to submit further information, including pictures of products. I look forward to discussing this with you again.