Children's nightwear

There are special rules for manufacturing children's nightwear, and the labels on them can help you make safer choices for your children.

The basics

All clothing and fabric will burn. Some may burn at a slower rate than others, but all fabric will eventually burn. Around heaters or fires you need to be extra careful about the safety of your children’s nightwear.

Product safety standard

There is an Australian/New Zealand product standard that applies to children's nightwear — AS/NZS 1249:2014 Children’s nightwear and limited daywear having reduced fire hazard.

See Children’s nightwear standard for more information.

Before you buy children's nightwear

Buy nightwear that fits snugly

  • Buy nightwear that is snug-fitting whenever possible. This reduces the risk of catching fire compared with baggy, loose nightwear.
  • It's important to get the right size for your child. Don't buy garments for your child to 'grow into' as this may mean they aren't as snug-fitting as the manufacturer intended.
  • Remember too that any hand-me-downs you get for your child must fit snugly before you dress your child in them. If you get hand-me-downs that are a couple of sizes too big, wait until they've grown enough to fit into them. As we know, it won't take long.

Pay attention to the fire danger labels

All clothing has some fire risk.

Children’s nightwear being sold should now have either a white or red label.

This label means the garment is either made of a fabric that burns more slowly.

This label means the garment is either made of a fabric that burns more slowly, or the garment is designed to be worn snug fitting to reduce risk.

 Buy children’s nightwear with the white ‘Caution” label whenever possible.

This means that the garment is a higher fire risk.

This means that the garment is a higher fire risk — better to use in summer than winter as it's less likely to be used near a heater or fireplace.

Hand sewing children's nightwear

  • Polyester doesn't burn as quickly as cotton and is suitable for children’s nightwear.
  • If you're using cotton, make close-fitting, ski-type pyjamas. Flames don't spread as quickly over close-fitting garments.
  • For either type of fabric, use polyester thread.

Wearing children's nightwear safely

  • Pay attention to the labels on the nightwear.
  • Children should stay at least a metre from the heater at all times.
  • When children are wearing nightwear with an orange label the nightwear should fit snugly.
  • If children are wearing nightwear with a red label they should stay far away from any heaters or fires. There's a high risk of the nightwear catching fire.

Reporting an issue with children's nightwear

If a shop is selling children’s nightwear that doesn't meet the mandatory standard, you can report it to the Commerce Commission. They are the agency that enforces the Children's Nightwear Product Safety Standard.

Commerce Commission New Zealand website — Report form(external link)