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Cracking down on draw string clothing

Thrift shops across New York were ordered Tuesday to stop selling children's clothing with drawstrings. 

Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman sent cease and desist letters to 46 stores.  Five stores in Monroe County received a letter.

A survey by the Attorney General's offices found that despite state and federal prohibitions against the sale of children's drawstring clothing, many thrift shops continue to offer these items for sale.

The items included shirts, sweatshirts, pants, shorts and skirts, all of which had drawstrings that exceeded the permitted length. 

Drawstrings on children's garments at the neck and waist are considered a safety hazard.

The drawstrings can catch on cribs, playground equipment and vehicle doors. 

From January 1985 through April 2011, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission received reports of 26 deaths.

 "No child should be put at risk simply because of the clothing that he or she is wearing," said Attorney General Schneiderman. 

New York has banned the sale of children's drawstring clothing since 2003, and federal rules also ban their sale. 

Under New York law, it is illegal to sell any item of children's clothing, up to and including size 12, with a drawstring at the neck. Drawstrings are permissible at the top of a bottom garment (i.e., at the waist of sweatpants), or at the bottom of an upper garment (i.e., at the waist of a jacket) in children's clothing sized from 2T to 16, if the following conditions are met:


  • The drawstring is attached to the garment at its midpoint, so it cannot be fully pulled to one side, thus making it a hazard.
  • The ends of the drawstring measure no more than three inches from the point where the drawstring exits the garment to the tip of the drawstring, measured while the garment is expanded to its fullest width.
  • No toggles, knots, or attachments can be placed at the ends of the drawstrings other than a standard metal or plastic sheath covering on the end to prevent fraying.
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Washington Times