Green Parenting: Our Children’s Sleepwear
Children’s clothing catching fire has to be one of the most awful thoughts a parent can have. Keeping these fears in the forefront of their minds, in 1971 the Department of Commerce asked clothing manufacturers of children’s sleepwear to created flame resistant sleepwear. Why because children were catching fire from their loose-fitting clothing around cigarettes and candle flame (it was the ‘70’s).
What does this mean exactly to us now?
- To meet the regulatory flammability requirements, children’s sleepwear must either pass certain flammability tests, or be tight fitting and meet certain specifications as to dimensions. source
- The guidelines specified that (loose-fitting sleeping) garments, including trim and seams, must self extinguish when exposed to an open flame for 3 seconds. The product must pass the test new and again after going through fifty wash cycles. source
- It is hard to tell what flame retardant is being used on any particular clothing item. And you can’t really wash the flame retardants out. source
So what’s a parent to do?
Well first and foremost, check the fabric content on all pajamas you buy for your children. If it is made with a synthetic fabric (polyester, nylon, acetate or cotton blends) or 100% cotton flame retardant, it has been chemically treated. There are two different types of treatment these materials get; either they are treated as a garment OR the chemicals are bonded into the fiber of the fabric and then made. Either way, they are treated with chemicals when listed as flame resistant or retardant.
The best and most effective thing to do is to buy snug-fitting, natural-fiber pajamas; 100% cotton and organic is the best option. Check out these retailers and manufacturers for your some great options:
- New Jammies- 100% organic cotton sleepwear; sizes: preemie to 8
- Hanna Andersson- long johns in organic cotton; sizes: baby to big boy/girl
- Under the Nile- long johns; sizes: preemie to adult
Green Parenting is published every Friday.
For more information, email Elise Jones.