Flame-retardent pajamas for kids

I’ve noticed that there is an ongoing focus on fire safety with children’s sleepwear (for example, warnings to not use this outfit as sleepwear, on baby clothes that aren’t close-fitting, etc).

My question is, how much is this still an issue? I can imagine that when they first started producing flame-retardent material (lord that is nasty stuff) it was at a time when smoke alarms were a new item and not every home had one. Times have changed (for example, in our house, we have smoke alarms hard-wired into every room, which is what code demands for newer construction), but the sleepwear/fire retadency issue still exists in children’s clothing manufacturing and marketing.

Are flaming pajamas still the danger they were when this first became an issue?

I don’t know, but they do make approved sleepwear that isn’t fire retardant. It’s 100% cotton (very big plus for certain all-organic members of my family). The way they get around the fire-retardancy thing is to make the clothing skin-tight.

I think children are regarded as more likely to accidently set themselves on fire when around things like open fireplaces, perhaps even in kitchens? Fire retardant clothing in a small way compensates for a percieved greater threat due to lack of caution or clumsiness.

I can’t see what the smoke alarm is going to do other than tell you there’s smoke. If your kid is playing near any flame and catches fire you just want the alarm to go off? A smoke alarm may help when people are sleeping or in another part of the house and there’s a slow fire starting. But for a kid whose clothes are on fire an alarm is useless. I have seen on TV demonstrations of how non retardant clothes burn and, believe me, you’d be horribly burnt before the alarm would have a chance of anything.

Sailor, that makes perfect sense to me. But if the real risk were kids playing near flame, it would seem that regular clothes, not (or in additiont to) sleepwear, would be the focus of such a campaign. My child is wearing street clothes when he’s getting into mischief, and wears pajamas for less than half his day.

If the focus is on “Sleep safety” (which is appears to be, since that is what flame-retardent fabric is used for, and also the skin-tight requirement for non-treated pajamas) it seems to me the risk is of fires that occur when everyone is zonked–which is what smoke alarms assist with.

When I was growing up, the only times when there wasn’t any adult presence for prolonged periods were Saturday and Sunday mornings, when Mom and Papa were sleeping in while watched cartoons and got into other forms of trouble. So in my case, I could see the point of flame-retardant pj’s to save me from myself.

err… perhaps it would have been helpful to add that on these TV-filled weekend mornings I was typically wearing my pyjamas.

I don’t have kids so I don’t know the reasons behind all this and I am just guessing that it may be that pajamas are loose fitting and lighter (thinner fabric would catch fire more easily than thicker fabric) and therefore easier to catch on fire. I also wonder if other clothes may have to meet the same specs or not.

One thing that occurs to me is that no one is ever, ever going to be the person who started the crusade against mandating flame-retardant sleepware: there’s no benefit to making that your cause, and the possiblilty of horrible fallout. So the rule will probably still exisit when we have all transcencded into beings of pure light.