Friday, October 12, 2007

Fire Prevention & PJs

Did you know that it is Fire Prevention Week? I had an experience years ago (a gas explosion across the street) that has made me ultra careful about fire safety. I check our smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors once a month. (and I drive my husband CRAZY constantly sniffing the air for gas leaks!) I also intend to have practice fire escape drills for our family, and this week is a good reminder that my kids are old enough to start talking about fires. Check out the NFPA for key points for kids.

On a somewhat related note, I've been doing some reading this week on flame-retardant children's sleepwear. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) requires children's sleepwear to be flame resistant and self-extinguishing. This means the PJs must be made of a fabric that is close-fitting or a self-extinguishing fabric like polyester or wool OR a fabric treated with chemical flame retardants. While my first reaction is to recoil in horror at children's PJs being coated in chemicals, the studies clearly show a decrease in child burn injuries and deaths that can not be ignored.

After doing my reading, it seems the healthiest choice for the environment that is still safe for kids is the snug-fitting, organic cotton long johns with the "wear snug-fitting. Not flame resistant" label. I'll do some reviews of companies that have organic long johns soon.

I have always been a big fan of LLBean fleece PJs (offering free shipping right now!) for winter. From what I found, fleece is one of the self-extinguishing fabrics and is manufactured with built-in fire retardants rather than post-manufacturing chemical treatment. I did not find any information that is leading me to throw out the PJs we already have, but I am going to be very cautious in my future PJ purchases.

I think for now we'll stick with our fleece PJs for winter and untreated, organic cotton for Jack in the summer unless I hear something to change my mind. Kate likes to sleep in nightgowns, and I am going to be more careful about which ones I choose. Fortunately I have awhile to scope it out as she'll be in fleece nightgowns until Spring. Or maybe she'll change her taste by next summer. Probably not.

Learn more here (I found the history interesting) and here.


Anonymous said...

LL Bean PJs are not harmless anymore, I asked them about what made their PJs flame resistant and they wrote this to me: Our Fleece PJ's are treated with a chemically applied flame retardant finish.

Jen S. said...

I realize this is a couple of weeks old, but I thought I'd post anyway for people who might run across it...
For anyone who has a young child (under 2), I'd like to share some great options for VERY snug-fitting cotton PJs (even snug on my skinny little one who's consistently been in the lower 25th perc. for weight his entire first year)...although they're not organic, I like the way they fit, and I like the price.
The Children's Place: one-piece, footed (with rubber grips on the bottom for walkers) and a little elastic around the ankle to keep the foot in the foot, zip leg/front (not 20 snaps).
Old Navy: 2-piece, long john style
Carter's brand (sold various places): 2-piece, long john style, VERY soft