Children's upper outerwear with drawstrings, such as sweatshirts, sweaters and jackets, pose a strangulation hazard that may result in serious injury or death.
The civil penalty agreement settles CPSC charges that Macy's deliberately failed to notify the CPSC immediately -- as required by federal law -- that it sold children's sweatshirts, sweaters and jackets with neck drawstrings between 2006 and 2010.The sweatshirts, sweaters and jackets in question were sold by Macy's and stores owned by the Cincinnati, Ohio, company, including Bloomingdale's and Robinsons-May.
The CPSC accused Macy's of knowingly selling recalled children's clothing with drawstrings, commonly known as "hoodies," which was outlawed with the passage of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008.
Federal law requires manufacturers, distributors and retailers to notify the CPSC within 24 hours after being made aware of a product containing a defect that could create a substantial hazard, create an unreasonable risk of serious injury or death, or which fails to comply with any consumer product safety rule, regulation, standard or ban enforced by the CPSC.
The CPSC first issued drawstring guidelines in 1996 to help prevent children from being strangled by or becoming entangled in the neck and waist drawstrings of jackets and sweatshirts.
In 2006, the CPSC announced that children's upper outerwear with drawstrings at the hood or neck presented a substantial risk of injury to young children would be classified as defective.
That same year, the CPSC and certain manufacturers and distributors announced recalls of the following children's garments with drawstrings that were sold at Macy's, Bloomingdale's and Robinsons-May:
- Quiksilver Inc. Hide & Seek hooded sweatshirts
- Jerry Leigh of California Inc. Harajuku Lovers Hooded Jackets
- La Jolla Sport USA Inc. O'Neill children's sweatshirts
- Dysfunctional Clothing LLC children's hooded sweatshirts
- Macy's Merchandising Group Inc. Epic Threads hooded sweatshirts and Greendog sweaters
- C-MRK Inc. Ocean Current boys' hooded sweatshirts
- NTD Apparel Inc. Hello Kitty hooded sweatshirts
- S. Rothschild & Co Inc. girls' coats
- VF Contemporary Brands Inc. Splendid girls' hooded jackets and vest sets
On June 29, 2011, the Commission approved a final rule that designates the following hoodies as substantial product hazards:
- Children's upper outerwear in sizes 2T through 12 with neck or hood drawstrings.
- Children's upper outerwear in sizes 2T through 16 with certain waist or bottom drawstrings.