Changes to the Children’s nightwear standard – Advice for suppliers

Children's nightwear

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Everyone agrees the children’s nightwear standard was in need of an overhaul.

A new version of Australian/New Zealand Standard AS/NZS 1249 Children’s nightwear and limited daywear having reduced flammability the standard was published on 30 June 2014[1]. It contains many changes from the 2003 version.

From 20 April 2017 this standard has been adopted under Australian Consumer Law, with a transition period to the end of 2019.

Find out how the standard could affect you

This blog article provides a brief insight into some of the changes. Product Safety Solutions has prepared an e book that goes through the key changes in AS/NZS 1249-2014 and what they mean for the nightwear market. The e book is available on this website.

Some of the changes

The Standards Australia technical committee has gone through the standard and fixed many of the things that were causing problems.

If/when AS/NZS 1249-2014 comes into the mandatory standard there will be opportunities for new garment designs.

But, be aware that some new restrictions have also been added!

Key change:

  • A new test in Category 1 for fabrics that melt and drip

The flame spread test that applies to fabrics in Category 1 is to check whether a garment might catch fire and burn. A new test has been added to Category 1 to test if the fabric melts and drips molten material.

This may cause some garments made of synthetic fibre such as polyester to move from Category 1 to Category 4.

Key change:

  • A new and very different label replaces the Low Fire Danger label

Key change:

  • ‘Flat trims’, such as appliques, with no pile or nap are no longer counted as trims

Key change:

  • The garment length and fabric weight limits in Category 4 have been eliminated

This means easier assessment against the standard for garments with more than 50% cotton/cellulose/acrylic.

Key change:

  • The 80 per cent rule in Category 3 has gone

In AS/NZS 1249-2003, Category 3 requires babies’ all-in-ones to be ‘more than 80% close-fitting’. This was always a difficult thing to measure and the committee decided it was no longer necessary.

Key change:

  • All-in-ones sized 00-2 with no pile or nap are no longer required to meet the standard

The new Category 3 applies to knitted babies’ all-in-ones only if their fabric has a nap or pile that can pass the surface burn test.

Key change:

  • The standard now includes blankets and towels with armholes or sleeves

Blanket and towel type garments are sometimes made with armholes or sleeves are often used as a form of nightwear.

If you sell children’s towels or blankets with armholes or sleeves, you will need to:

  • Get your fabric tested for surface burn
  • If it fails, change the fibre composition to one that allows a pass, and attach the correct label, OR
  • Withdraw the product from the market before the standard is mandated

Textile testing companies will be able to advise on how to make your garments compliant.

Key change:

  • Labelling requirements apply to online sales. Websites selling garments covered by the standard will need to feature the required label on the site prior to purchase

You will need to go through the standard clause by clause to identify changes that affect your business.

An error detected

Not long after AS/NZS1249-2014 was published, the committee’s attention was drawn to an error in the standard. Some vigilant person had picked up a spot where the clause is at odds with the related illustration.

Standards Australia has published an amendment – Amendment #1, dated 17 November 2014. Make sure you check for amendments on the SAI Global website (you can register to be notified). A further amendment is set for 2017.

If you find what you think is an error in the published standard, it is important to let others know. You can do that by contacting Standards Australia.

Learn more . . .

Product Safety Solutions’ new e book Changes to AS/NZS 1249 – Children’s nightwear safety standard in Australia: What they mean for importers, manufacturers and retailers is available on this website.

The e-book goes through the key changes in AS/NZS 1249-2014 in more detail and covers what these changes mean for the nightwear market. It is written for those familiar with the current mandatory standard.

You can also find more information about engaging in ACCC review processes in Product Safety Solutions’ blog and e-book How to Influence Consumer Product Safety Policy.

See related blogs:

Revised New Zealand children’s nightwear regulations

Revised children’s nightwear standard for Australia

[1] AS/NZS 1249:2014 is available from the publisher SAI Global