When buying nightwear for children, look for snug fitting items and low fire hazard fabrics. This reduces the chance of the nightwear catching fire.

In New Zealand, children’s nightwear that is covered by the Product Safety Standard must carry a fire hazard label. This includes new and second-hand children’s nightwear and some daywear (sizes 00–14). The label reminds caregivers to keep children away from heat and flame sources .

What is considered 'children's nightwear'?

Children’s nightwear requiring a fire hazard label includes:

  • pyjamas
  • nightdresses and nighties
  • some all-in-ones
  • nightshirts
  • dressing gowns
  • bathrobes
  • loose style boxer shorts
  • infant sleepbags with sleeves or arm openings.

Nightwear also includes blankets and towels that have sleeve or arm openings.

Some nightwear, including snug fitting all-in-ones size 00–2 made from fabric that is less likely to burn are not required to have a fire hazard label.

What are the rules?

The fire hazard label should be easy to see. It must:

  • be on the inside back neck of a top or one-piece garment or, in pants, at the waist, waistband or top of the back seam (all pieces of a set should be labelled)
  • have fire hazard and size information clearly visible on the face side of the label
  • be permanently fixed on the nightwear, so it is unlikely to come off.

If the nightwear is sold in packaging which makes it difficult to see and read the label, the packaging must also be clearly marked with the correct fire hazard information.

Know the labels

Only certain styles and fabrics are allowed to be used for children’s nightwear in New Zealand.

White label - nightwear made from low fire hazard fabrics and those that are snug fitting are marked with a white label that reads, "CAUTION KEEP AWAY FROM HEAT AND FLAME". This is the safest option when purchasing children's nightwear. Red label - Nightwear that have a higher fire hazard risk are marked with a red label that reads, "WARNING HIGH FIRE DANGER KEEP AWAY FROM HEAT AND FLAME".

You might see some nightwear that has an orange label. This caution label means that the nightwear is made of a higher fire risk fabric but is designed to be snug fitting. This label has been phased out and should no longer appear on children’s nightwear.

If clothing does not meet the requirements for either a white or red label it is considered to have a very high flammability rating and cannot be sold as nightwear.

Handmade nightwear

For maximum safety choose patterns with snug-fitting designs and look for low fire hazard fabrics and trims.

Unless making a snug fitting design avoid fabrics that are:

  • cellulose (cotton, bamboo, linen, cupro, modal, viscose, rayon)
  • acetate, or
  • acrylic rich

because these fabrics burn readily.

If you are making children’s nightwear for your children or as a gift, you do not need to add a hazard label. If, however, you sell handmade nightwear for children, you must include a fire hazard label.

What to look out for

When purchasing children’s nightwear:

  • always check to make sure nightwear has a fire hazard label or is made of fabric that is less likely to burn
  • choose nightwear that has the white label
  • make sure nightwear is snug fitting, as this reduces the fire hazard.

Meter from the heater

  • Remember, “low fire hazard” does not mean “NO fire hazard”.
  • Never let your child get too close to a stove, heater, or fire.
  • Always keep anything that could catch fire at least a metre from the heater or fire.
  • Put a safety guard around your heater or fire if you have young children or it’s a busy part of your home. Attach the guard to the wall.
  • Remember fabrics can ignite without physical contact with a naked flame or heat source.
Read more about children's nightwear PDF (904 KB)

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Make a complaint

If you think some children's nightwear has breached the safety standard, you can make a complaint to us.