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Making Clothes for Kids Safer : Children: Most clothing makers tell the federal safety commission they will eliminate or cut the drawstrings that have become so dangerous.

November 17, 1995|REUTERS

WASHINGTON — A government safety agency said Thursday that it had reached voluntary guidelines with most clothing companies to eliminate or shorten drawstrings on children's jackets, coats and sweat shirts.

Ann Brown, chairwoman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, said 17 children had been killed in the past 10 years and 42 injured when hood and waist drawstrings became entangled with playground equipment, school-bus doors and other items.

"This effort cuts through red tape and avoids regulation and costly legal battles, yet it gives parents and industry the information they need to save children's lives," Brown said at a news conference at the U.S. Capitol.

"These new guidelines are an important step towards saving kids' lives," added Sen. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio).

The guidelines call for replacing drawstrings on hoods and necks of garments with snaps, buttons, elastic or other fasteners and shortening them around the bottoms of coats and jackets.

Brown urged parents to remove or shorten drawstrings from clothing their children already have.

She said the commission had worked with leading garment companies for 18 months.

Among the companies she said would follow the guidelines were Oshkosh B'Gosh, Nike, Levi Strauss, L.L. Bean, Healthtex and Polly Flanders.

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