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Q&A:
Is clothing made of synthetic fabrics a fire hazard for a 5-month-old?

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Question


Any fabric can catch on fire, but some material, such as acrylics, when ignited will melt and stick to a child's body as well.

Answer


Any fabric can catch on fire, but some material, such as acrylics, when ignited will melt and stick to a child's body as well. In the 1970s the fire hazards of children's sleepwear were addressed through federal legislation. It required that all children's sleepwear sizes 0-6X be flame-retardant. In those days, a chemical was added to the fabric. After the passage of that law, deaths and injuries from clothing catching fire were reduced by 95 percent. However, the chemical used to make fabrics flame-retardant can have its own toxicity. There are now some fabrics that are inherently flame-retardant without added chemicals.



For safe sleeping, a child should wear clothing that is labeled as flame-retardant or flame resistant or should be in snug-fitting sleepwear such as stretchy cotton pajamas. The Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends that the hangtag should say, "For child's safety, garment should fit snugly. This garment is not flame resistant," and that a permanent tag sewn into the garment says "Wear snug fitting. Not flame resistant." Long or flowing material is more likely to catch on fire.

 
 
 
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