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The Importance of Flame Retardant Products at Bedtime

Bedtime should be a time of comfort, safety, and bedtime stories. No one likes to think of a child being burned by fire, especially in the bedroom. Unfortunately, accidents do happen. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, in 2007 nearly 510 children under the age of 15 died as a result of fires. These children accounted for 13% of fire deaths. The youngest children were especially hard hit 52% of child fire deaths affected children ages 4 and younger. For children under the age of 15 in 2007, deaths from fire and burns were the second leading cause of non-transportation accidental deaths, after drowning.

Most fire-related injuries to children in the home happen while children are playing. And mattresses, bedding, clothing not being worn, curtains, and other "soft goods" are the primary materials first ignited in fires that result in child casualties. One way to help kids stay safe in the event of an accidental fire is to make sure their clothing, mattress, bedding, etc., are flame resistant and meet government flammability standards. Remember, hand-me-downs and heirlooms from days gone by may not meet these stringent safety standards, and therefore may pose a risk to your child. Therefore, you may be better off displaying those items as keepsakes rather than using them for their original purpose.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Office of Compliance states that children's sleepwear flammability standards require that children's sleepwear be flame resistant and self-extinguish if a flame from a candle, match, lighter or similar item causes it to catch fire. This applies to all children's sleepwear above size 9 months to size 14 and require that the fabric and garments pass certain flammability tests or be "tight fitting" as defined by specified dimensions.

For bedding, the Department of Consumer Affairs Bureau of Electronic and Appliance Repair, Home Furnishings, and Thermal Insulation stipulates that all mattresses manufactured for sale in California be fire retardant, meeting the standards for resistance to open-flame test adopted by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. All other bedding products that the bureau determines contribute to mattress bedding fires must also comply.

Your Bakersfield Firefighters encourage you to choose products for your family that are designed to meet safety standards for flame resistance. For more information and additional safety tips from the Bakersfield FIRE Department, please visit

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Tags: Health, Infant & Baby, Parenting

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