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Nightwear labelling regulations now effective

Hon Judith Tizard
Minister of Consumer Affairs

31 July 2008 Media Statement

Children’s nightwear labelling regulations now effective

Consumers will soon see new labelling on children’s nightwear available for sale, announced Consumer Affairs Minister Judith Tizard today. New regulations become effective from today so retailers may use new labels on stock.

"The most commonly available nightwear will carry the new label in an orange colour so that it is easy to see saying ‘Caution Not Heat or Flame Resistant Wear Snug-Fitting to Reduce Risk’," said Judith Tizard.

This label must be used when nightwear is made of a higher fire risk fabric but is styled to fit snugly to reduce fire risk. Nightwear in this category includes cotton and flannelette pyjamas.

The new labels will be phased in over the next eight months and fully in place by 1 April 2009, in time for winter 2009.

Until this time nightwear will still be available with the white ‘Low Fire Danger’ label. This label in many cases means the garment is made of higher risk materials such as cotton, flannelette and cotton-synthetic blends, but the garments are styled to fit snugly.

Over the next eight months transitional period consumers need to be aware that there will be garments on the market carrying the white ‘Low Fire Danger’ labels that are required to fit snugly to reduce risk explained Judith Tizard.

It is important, that during the period to April next year, consumers purchase snug-fitting children's nightwear and are aware that low fire danger doesn't mean no fire danger.

From 1 April 2009, only those garments made from a lower fire hazard fabric will be allowed to carry the white ‘Low Fire Danger’ label.

The red labels for garments made from higher fire risk fabric, which carry the ‘Warning High Fire Danger Keep Away for Fire’, will continue.

“These labelling changes will improve consumer safety by removing any confusion around what the labels mean,” said Judith Tizard.

“Labels will be clearer and consumers can make safer choices about the nightwear they buy and dress their children in.

The Standard for children’s nightwear has also been amended to incorporate a New Zealand only change and is using the same wording for the labels as the product safety standard regulations.

“I want to remind everyone to make sure kids stay a metre from the heater – regardless of what they are wearing. This is a minimum rule that we must all follow,” said Judith Tizard.

A review of the regulations was called by Judith Tizard following several children suffering serious injury when their pyjamas caught alight in 2007. One child died as a result of burns.

“I would like to thank the all the organisations and groups involved in working on the changes to both the regulations and the Standard for children’s nightwear labelling,” said Judith Tizard.


ENDS

See... Background and label samples (PDF)

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