© 2011 itsa Ltd on behalf of the Trading Standards Institute.
It is an offence to supply children's nightwear unless it has been treated so that it complies with specific requirements.
Other nightwear must be labelled so as to inform the purchaser whether the item does or does not meet the flammability requirements of the relevant British Standard. If it does not it must have a label, printed in red text, stating 'keep away from fire'. If the item does meet the requirements it must be labelled with either this same warning, or the statement 'low flammability to BS 5722' (in black text). In addition to the above flammability requirements, nightwear must be safe in all other respects.
In the guide
Positioning of labels
The Nightwear (Safety) Regulations 1985 make it an offence to supply children's nightwear unless it has been treated so that it conforms, after washing, to the flammability performance requirements of British Standard (BS) 5722. They lay down labelling requirements so that purchasers can tell whether other nightwear - including adults' - does or does not meet the flammability requirements. Second hand nightwear does not have to comply with these Regulations.
Children's nightwear means anything designed for wear by, and that would normally be worn by, a person under the age of 13 years, except:
- night dresses with a chest measurement of more than 91cm or a length of more than 122cm
- dressing gowns, bath robes and other similar garments with a chest measurement of more than 97cm or a sleeve measurement of more than 69cm
Children's nightwear must comply with the flammability performance requirements of BS 5722, except the following items:
- garments for babies up to three months with a chest measurement of 53cm or less
- cotton terry towelling bath robes
Other nightwear (including adult nightwear), babies' garments, children's pyjamas and children's cotton terry towelling bath robes must be labelled so as to inform the purchaser whether the item does or does not meet the flammability requirements of BS 5722.
If the item does not meet the requirements, it must have a label, printed in red, stating 'KEEP AWAY FROM FIRE'. If the item meets the requirements, it must have a label with one of the following:
- a statement in red text stating 'KEEP AWAY FROM FIRE'
- a statement in black text stating 'LOW FLAMMABILITY TO BS 5722'
- both statements in appropriate colours
Special rules apply to these items where they are advertised for sale by mail order - further information is available from your local trading standards service.
Any nightwear treated with flame-retardant chemicals must also have a label that states 'DO NOT WASH AT MORE THAN 50oC. CHECK SUITABILITY OF WASHING AGENT'.
Positioning of labels
The wording described above must be given on a durable label on the inside neck of the garment or next to the label giving the size of the garment, or the wording must be given on the size label immediately following such information.
The General Product Safety Regulations 2005 also require goods to be safe. When assessing the safety of a product, manufacturers are encouraged to manufacture goods in accordance with European Standards. The European Standard 'BS EN 14878 Textiles - Burning behaviour of children's nightwear - Specification' introduces new flammability performance requirements for children's nightwear. This covers all nightwear including pyjamas, all dressing gowns and babies' garments, and introduces specific flammability requirements for these garments.
In principle, it is recommended that the requirements of the UK Regulations continue to be applied, where applicable, but for garments such as children's pyjamas and cotton terry towelling bath robes and babies' garments, the flammability requirements of BS EN 14878 should be applied so that suppliers meet the statutory requirements of the General Product Safety Regulations 2005.
The General Product Safety Regulations 2005 also cover second hand goods, so again EN 14878 could be used to assess the safety of second hand children's nightwear. In common with other consumer products, these Regulations require the manufacturer to mark the product, or its packaging, with their name and address and the product reference or batch code (unless it would not be reasonable to do so).
In addition to the specific flammability requirements, nightwear must be safe in all other respects, such as avoiding strangulation, entrapment, and choking hazards caused by cords and fasteners.
This leaflet is not an authoritative interpretation of the law and is intended only for guidance. Any legislation referred to, while still current, may have been amended from the form in which it was originally enacted. Please contact us for further information.
Nightwear (Safety) Regulations 1985
General Product Safety Regulations 2005
Last reviewed/updated: November 2012
© 2013 itsa Ltd on behalf of the Trading Standards Institute.