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Child Safety

Clothing Safety for Children

​​​Clothing is an important part of our everyday lives. It keeps us warm and protects us from the weather. It may seem surprising, but clothing can also be dangerous for children.

Did you know?

A child can:

  • be strangled if a hood or drawstring gets caught on playground equipment, fences, or in car or bus doors
  • choke on buttons that come loose on their clothes
  • be burned very badly if their clothes catch fire

To protect your child from getting hurt by clothing, they need to:

  • be supervised by an adult
  • have a safe area to play and move around in
  • be taught what could hurt them
  • do activities that are right for their age

How can I dress my child to protect them from getting burned?

  • Teach your children about the dangers of fire. If their clothes catch fire, teach them to "STOP, DROP, and ROLL".
  • Make sure your child is wearing flame resistant pajamas when you put them​ to bed. Clothing made out of cotton blend fabric is not flame resistant. Choose pajamas made of polyester or nylon fabrics.​
  • Dress your child in pajamas with tight fitting ankles, waists, and wrists. Tight fitting pajamas are less likely to catch fire than loose fitting pajamas. Day clothes, like t-shirts, may not protect your child from getting burned.​

How can I dress my child to protect them from choking?

  • Take all the drawstrings and cords out of your child’s clothes.
  • Don’t let your child wear a scarf or helmet when they play on playground equipment.
  • Check that belts, ties, and sashes are firmly attached to clothing and are not long enough to wrap around your child’s neck.
  • Take the hoods off your child’s clothes or make sure the hood will come off if it catches on something. Hoods attached with Velcro® are best.
  • Check that buttons and other small parts are firmly attached to clothing and won’t come loose.
  • Make sure that blankets and sleepers don’t have any loose threads. Threads can wrap around fingers and can cut off blood supply.

How can I dress my child to protect them from falling?

  • Choose shoes with Velcro® straps until your child is able to tie shoelaces.
  • Make sure shoelaces are tight and tied properly so they don’t come loose.
  • Make sure your child wears properly fitted shoes.

How can I protect my child from neck and shoulder strain while wearing a backpack?

  • Make sure your child wears their backpack over both shoulders. This spreads the weight evenly across their back and shoulders. It also helps protect your child from getting a back, shoulder, or neck strain (stretching or tearing of a muscle or tendon).
  • The backpack should weigh less than 15 to 20% of your child’s weight. For example, if your child weighs 36 kg (80 lbs.), then they shouldn’t carry a back pack weighing over 7.2 kg (15 lbs.)

Current as of: March 24, 2017

Author: Provincial Injury Prevention Program, Alberta Health Services