Buying children’s sleepwear is more complicated than most parents think. I’m not going to go into all the boring details because I know if you’re a parent you’re busy. Here’s what to look for next time you shop for pajamas for your child.
1.) The Baby Blue Hang Tag
Steer clear of sleepwear baring this tag. What it tells you in simple terms is, “This pair of pajamas contains flame retardants.” Visit your local Target or Walmart and you will find many cartoon-laden sleepwear sets donning the dreaded baby blue hang tag- yes, the ones your children will beg for. What this really means is that the fabric used to make these pjs requires the use of flame-retardant chemicals. My good friend, Niki, actually taught her daughter on a shopping trip that she was not allowed to pick out pajamas with the blue hang tag and explained why. Her daughter happily complied once she understood the dangers. One last thing to remember is that you may also see the baby blue hang tag on 100% cotton pajamas. Don’t be fooled, this means that they are not snug-fitting and also must be treated. I have recently noticed polyester sleepwear at Target that doesn’t bear the blue hang tag, but it should. I don’t know how they got around it, but all I can tell you is that it is illegal to make polyester sleepwear without treating them with flame retardants.
2.) The Bright Yellow Hang Tag
You are safe with this one. The yellow hang tag means that the sleepwear is 100% cotton and has been designed to adhere to snug-fit measurements put into place by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Snug-fit measurements replace the need for flame retardants. The reason being they are less likely to catch fire and will extinguish more quickly.
3.) The Care Label
Look inside the garment and find the label that is sewn inside the neck or sometimes into a side seam. If hang tags have been removed in cases of hand-me-downs or Ebay purchases, you can still determine if flame-retardants have been used. You are searching to pinpoint the fiber(s) used to make the sleepwear. Snug-fitting 100% cotton or 100% wool, preferably organic, are your best bet. These breathable natural fibers allow your child’s skin to breath and regulate body temperature. You are looking to avoid materials such as acrylic, rayon, modacrylic, and polyester. These materials are man-made from things like petroleum. They are not breathable and can cause kids to overheat. These are an absolute no-no for kids with eczema. The most important reason to avoid these fabrics is that they have to be treated with flame retardant chems by law. Also, if you choose 100% cotton, you should see a box on the care label that states “snug-fitting, not flame resistant”. If you do not see this box on a 100% cotton sleep garment, it means that it is not snug-fitting and has been treated. 100 % wool garments will not have this box as they are naturally flame resistant.
You may already know these tips, but as a new mom I did not. Grandparents also love to show up with those crazy angry bird superhero princess pajamas and may not know that they’re harmful to their precious grandchildren. Share this article with a new mom or grandparent today. This is just another small change parents can make to ease the chemical body burden our children take on a daily basis.