CHILDREN’S nightwear has a new safety standard, with highly-flammable garments excluded from sale and better labelling for fire warning, Small Business Minister Michael McCormack says.
Mr McCormack has today accepted advice from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) that the children’s nightwear safety standard should be updated.
“The most important role I have as Minister Responsible for Consumer Affairs is to ensure dodgy products are removed from our shelves, and people have the information they need to make informed choices about the goods and services they buy,” Mr McCormack said.
“It is vitally important that people take the time needed to review product safety advice, including warning labels, before purchasing and using certain products. This is especially important when it comes to products for kids.
“That is why today, as part of a rolling series of reviews and updates of product safety standards, I have accepted the ACCC’s advice and agreed to a new product safety standard for children’s nightwear.
“When parents and carers are busy putting their children to bed, the safety of kids’ pyjamas should not be at the forefront of their mind – it should be a given.
“The new safety standard will replace the existing standard which was introduced in 1978 and updated in 2007. It addresses the concerns many parents and I share about serious burns, injuries and fatalities resulting from nightwear made of flammable fabrics.
“Under the new standard, dangerously flammable fabrics cannot be sold. Labels will be improved to inform consumers whether the garment is a high or low risk and will help them make choices.
“Since the first standard was introduced, severe burns from flammable fabrics are down significantly, but now is the time to ensure the whole market goes even further to protect kids.”
In reviewing the standard, the ACCC consulted a range of stakeholders including retailers, consumer groups, child safety agencies, manufacturers, test laboratories, Australian Consumer Law regulators and wholesalers. The majority of stakeholders who made a submission supported the update.
“The new standard comes after extensive testing of fabrics in laboratories, including washing and drying testing,” Mr McCormack said.
“Research was also undertaken on how consumers use clothes labelling to make informed choices and the label has been redesigned so consumers can easily read product safety warnings and requirements.
“Suppliers will have a transition period to implement the new requirements, with changes ensuring Australian and New Zealand kids’ nightwear standards are similar, to assist industry in meeting the market.
“While the incidence of severe burns has fallen, my decision today further boosts the safety of children’s nightwear. We must all remain vigilant with children’s clothing near open flames and heaters, even when drying clothes – please make sure you read the labels.”
Further information on the new standard can be accessed on the Product Safety Australia website.