Recall Watch: Hooded Sweatshirts Strangle Children

Hooded sweatshirts have been recalled in four separate announcements in the past two months due to strangulation hazards.

Drawstrings on hoodies have led to deaths and injuries in children when they get caught on playground equipment, doors and cribs, according to the Consumer Products Safety Commission, and more than 100,000 children’s hooded sweatshirts with the drawstrings have recently been recalled.

So far in July, 855 sweatshirts have been recalled, including 725 distributed by C-Mrk and sold at Macy’s stores from December 2008 through April 2009 for about $35, and 130 distributed by Hard Tail and sold at Nordstrom’s, Village Kids, Kidding Around and other stores nationwide from July 2007 through September 2008 for about $60 to $85.

While there have been no reported deaths or injuries related to the sweatshirts recalled so far in July, the CPSC says it has received reports of several deaths and injuries from entanglement in children’s clothing drawstrings in past years.

Consumers are urged to remove drawstrings from sweatshirts immediately, or return the garment to the store where it was purchased or to C-Mrk or Hard Tail for a refund.

C-Mrk can be contacted by collect call to at (323) 826-6900 or through www.oceancurrent.com, and Hard Tail can be reached at (888) 942-7382 or www.hardtailforever.com for more information.

In June, 80,000 zippered and pullover hooded sweatshirts distributed by Winterbee and sold at clothing and retail stores nationwide for about $10 were recalled and 33,000 sweatshirts distributed and sold by Macy’s for between $32 and $50 were recalled to avoid potential strangulations.

In 1996, the CPSC issued guidelines to prevent child strangulation by avoiding drawstrings and instead opting for snaps, elastic or Velcro to secure the hood of a sweatshirt, but manufacturers have continued to produce kids’ hooded sweatshirts with drawstrings.

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