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New labels for children's nightwear to be introduced in 2009
Jul '08
Kids' nightwear - "Low fire danger" doesn't mean there's no fire danger

Give thought this winter to the type of pyjamas and nightwear you dress your children in. Last year three children were seriously injured and sadly one died as a result of the burns they received when their pyjamas caught on fire.

That's why as the evenings get colder, now's a good time to take stock of two things. How you use heaters in your home and the type of pyjamas and nightwear you dress your child in.

The "Heater Metre" rule
This is the golden rule for when children (and adults) are around any sort of heat source such as a fireplace or gas heater. Always keep children and babies at least one metre from any heat source. This will limit the chances of a child getting too close to a heater and burning themselves.

It's also important to have some sort of protection around heat sources – such as a fire guard – to prevent any injuries. Having a fire guard will significantly reduce the risk of your child getting burnt.

A number of retailers are introducing additional labels onto children's nightwear as a reminder to keep children a metre from the heater.

Getting the right size and fit
All clothing and fabrics will burn. Some may burn at a slower rate than others but all fabric will eventually burn.

Buy nightwear which is snug fitting whenever possible. Nightwear which fits snugly to the body reduces the risk of catching fire compared with baggy, loose nightwear.

It's important to get the right size for your child. Don't buy garments for your child to "grow into" as this may mean they aren't as snug fitting as the manufacturer intended.

Remember too that any hand-me-downs you get for your child must fit snugly before you dress your child in them. If you get hand-me-downs that are a couple of sizes too big, wait until they've grown enough to fit into them. As we know - it won't take long.

Labels help you make safer choices when you buy children's nightwear. Currently there are two types of labels attached to children's nightwear, one is the white "Low Fire Danger" and the other is the red "High Fire Danger" label.

The "Low Fire Danger" label means that the garment is a lower fire risk. Remember though, this doesn't mean that there is NO fire risk. Garments carrying this label mean that either the garment is made of a type of fabric which burns more slowly, or that the garment is designed to be snug fitting.

It's important to realise that nightwear labelled "Low Fire Danger" will have an increased fire danger if the nightwear is loose and baggy on your child.

Nightwear labelled "High Fire Danger" means just that. The garment is a higher fire risk. It is not advisable to buy or use these types of nightwear, but if you have to, it's better to use them in summer rather than winter, as the garment is less likely to catch fire as heaters are used less frequently.

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