New York thrift shops warned about drawstring kids' clothes

ALBANY (WABC) -- New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has told 46 thrift shops to stop selling children's garments with drawstrings, clothing prohibited in New York since 2003.

The letters follow a survey showing many thrift shops continued selling clothes considered a safety hazard because drawstrings can snag on cribs, playground equipment and vehicle doors.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission says it has received reports of 26 deaths and 58 other incidents involving drawstrings on children's clothing from 1985 through April 2011.

"The sale of children's clothing with drawstrings has been illegal in New York for more than a decade - and that includes the sale of these items by thrift stores," Schneiderman said. "No child should be put at risk simply because of the clothing that he or she is wearing. With these warning letters, we are sending a clear signal that thrift shops, like all retailers, must comply with the law - that they cannot sell clothing that puts children at risk of injury, strangulation and death. Beyond that, my office also hopes to also raise parents' awareness of the serious dangers posed by children's drawstring clothing."

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.

The thrift shops that received letters were ordered to immediately stop selling illegal drawstring clothing and to immediately remove all offending items from their shops.

The Attorney General's office will continue to monitor thrift shops, and take enforcement action as appropriate, to ensure compliance going forward.

Here are the thrift stores in the Eyewitness News viewing area that were found to be selling clothing with illegal drawstrings:

Long Island:
Salvation Army, Babylon
Glory Beez, Baldwin
Goodwill Industries, Bellmore
Salvation Army, Hempstead
Savers, Holbrook
Marshmellow Kids Fashion, Mineola

New York City:
Goodwill Industries, Bronx
Salvation Army, Bronx
Thrift Land USA, Inc., Bronx
Yankee Wiping Cloth Corp., Bronx
Goodwill Industries, Brooklyn (Livingston Street)
Goodwill Retail Store, Brooklyn (Fulton Street)
Goodwill Industries, Manhattan (Fifth Avenue)
Salvation Army, Manhattan (West 96th St.)
Salvation Army, Queens (Steinway Street)

Orange County:
Goodwill Industries, Vails Gate

Ulster County:
Salvation Army, New Paltz

Westchester County:
Elmsford Goodwill Store, Elmsford
Salvation Army Thrift Store, Mount Vernon
Thrift Store of White Plains, White Plains
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