Cotton and cotton-blend fabrics catch fire and burn more quickly than most synthetic materials. Nylon and polyester are more difficult to catch fire and burn more slowly.
Children's clothing that is sold in Canada must meet strict flammability requirements. Although this improves safety, it does not mean that clothing is fireproof.
Fire is not the only danger. Loose clothing, buttons, drawstrings, belts, ties and sashes are all potential safety hazards.
- Choose clothing that will protect children from serious burn injuries. Loose, baggy clothing (like flowing skirts, wide sleeves, or large ruffles) can catch fire more easily than snug-fitting clothes.
- To meet flammability requirements, loose-fitting sleepwear (including nightgowns, bathrobes, baby-doll pyjamas and loose pyjamas) must be made from polyester, nylon, or polyester/nylon blends. Tight-fitting styles (such as sleepers or polo pyjamas) may be made from cotton or cotton blends.
- Dress children in actual sleepwear when putting them to bed rather than T-shirts or other day clothes. Most day clothes do not meet the flammability requirements for sleepwear.
- Drawstrings or cords on children's clothing should be removed. Children can strangle on drawstrings and cords that get caught around their neck or on other objects.
- Belts, ties, or sashes on children's robes should be stitched firmly to the centre back of these products. Young children are at risk of strangulation from any type of cord that can be detached from the clothing.
- Check for loose buttons or other small parts as they could become a choking hazard.
- Check blankets and sleepers regularly for loose threads and fix them immediately, as threads can wrap around a baby's finger or neck and cause injury.
- Always supervise children around fireplaces, stoves and campfires.
- Keep lighters, matches, and open flames out of the reach of children.
- In case clothing does catch fire, remember to teach children to "Stop, Drop, and Roll".
This article comes from the Health Canada website