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5 tips for keeping kids safe at bedtime

Each year children are brought to emergency rooms for treatment of burns resulting from children wearing garments at bedtime that are inappropriate for use as sleepwear. In observation of Childhood Injury Prevention Week (September 1 to 7), parents should take this time to take a look at their children's sleepwearl, which should be either flame resistant or snug fitting.

Parents can prevent injuries by following simple guidelines when purchasing children's sleepwear. These guidelines include:

1. Loose fitting pajamas should be flame resistant. Generally, this means they should be 100 percent polyester or made of a fabric that has been treated to be flame resistant.

2. Cotton pajamas (and cotton/polyester blends) that are not flame resistant should be snug fitting. Purchase cotton pajamas in sizes appropriate for your child.

3. Bath robes should be made of 100 percent polyester, flame resistant fabrics.

4. Do not use loose fitting, cotton t-shirts, sweatshirts, or sweatpants as sleepwear. Use only garments that have been manufactured for use as sleepwear and meet children's sleepwear safety guidelines. Do not let children wear sleepwear that was manufactured for adults.

5. Keep children away from small flames such as stoves, matches, and lighters at bedtime and just after rising in the morning.

"Keeping kids safe at bedtime is easy. Just be sure to purchase garments that were made to be used as sleepwear and comply with federal standards for children's sleepwear," says Melissa Canepa Murphy of CrazyforBargains.com, an online sleepwear retailer.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission sets safety standards on children's pajamas and sleepwear in the United States. Children's sleepwear over size nine months should either be flame resistant if loose fitting or snug fitting if not made of a flame resistant material. Flame resistant garments are made from fabric that is either inherently flame resistant or has been treated to be flame resistant. Labels sewn inside children's sleepwear identify it is either flame resistant or snug fitting.