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WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced today that two firms, Maran Inc., of North Bergen, N.J. and K.S. Trading Corp., of Moonachie, N.J., have agreed to pay a total of $85,000 in civil penalties. The penalty settlements (Maran and K.S. Trading, pdf), which have been provisionally accepted by the Commission, resolve CPSC staff allegations that the firms knowingly failed to report to CPSC immediately, as required by federal law, that children's hooded sweatshirts or jackets they sold had drawstrings at the neck.
Children's upper outerwear with drawstrings, including sweatshirts or jackets, poses a strangulation hazard to children which can result in serious injury or death. CPSC and the firms announced recalls (Maran and K.S. Trading) of the products.
CPSC issued drawstring guidelines (pdf) in 1996 to help prevent children from strangling or getting entangled on the neck and waist drawstrings in upper outerwear, such as jackets and sweatshirts. In 1997, industry adopted a voluntary standard for drawstrings that incorporated the CPSC guidelines. In May 2006, CPSC's Office of Compliance announced (pdf) that children's upper outerwear with drawstrings at the hood or neck would be regarded as defective and as presenting a substantial risk of injury to young children.
Federal law requires manufacturers, distributors, and retailers to report to CPSC immediately (within 24 hours) after obtaining information reasonably supporting the conclusion that a product contains a defect which could create a substantial product hazard, creates an unreasonable risk of serious injury or death, or fails to comply with any consumer product safety rule or any other rule, regulation, standard, or ban enforced by CPSC.
In agreeing to the settlement, the firms deny CPSC's allegations that they knowingly violated the law.