Flame Resistant Does Not Necessarily Mean the Pajamas Are Safe
Posted December 29, 1998 6:00 a.m. EST
RALEIGH — Parents sleep best when they know their children are sleeping safe in their beds. But one local family found out what they thought was safe was actually dangerous.
After purchasing a pair of pajamas for their child from a popular retail store, they say the pajamas and their child almost went up in flames.
The federal government requires children's sleepwear to be flame resistant, unless the pajamas fit snuggly. Snug-fitting pajamas can be made of cotton.
But one family found out the standard does not mean a child will not get burned.
"I wanted her to have something to wake up on Christmas morning," said Amy Coats.
Coats thought the pair of red pajamas was a good idea when she made the purchase for her 2-year-old daughter, Taylor.
They were pretty, reasonably priced and, best of all, flame retardant. But the Honors brand pajamas may have been the worse purchase of her life.
On Monday, Coats says she smelled smoke and discovered it was coming from Taylor's pajamas, which were melting on her back.
"That's when I noticed. I had to peel it off her back," said Coats.
Coats says her daughter was playing near a heater when the incident occurred. Taylor survived with a few minor injuries.
But Coats says she is worried about other parents who may have purchased the same garment.
"There could be another child out there wearing these pajamas and they could get hurt. It might not be a good situation," said Coats.
A Target store spokesman says the store will not pull the item from shelves because "all of our pajamas go through strict quality assurance testing and meet all government safety standards."
Coats says retesting the pajamas would make her and other parents sleep better.
"If they're all fine then that's good. I'm sorry I put you through all that, but it's better to be safe than to be sorry," said Coats.
The melting left holes in Taylor's pajamas. The ends are also very crisp as a result of the material melting.
A spokesman from the U.S. Product Safety Commission says it is perfectly normal for kids' pajamas to melt, because melting is a better result than having the sleepwear go up in flames.