§ Mr. Alan Williams
asked the Secretary of State for Trade (1) when he received and when he intends to publish the results of the study of burn and scald accidents;
- (2) whether statistics available to his Department show an increase in the number of fires involving children's pyjamas and dressing gowns;
- (3) when the working party on flammability of materials was set up; how many meetings it has held; when he expects to receive its recommendations; and if he will ask the working party to give priority to producing recommendations for children's nightwear;
- (4) what has prevented the preparation and issue of a British Standard for flammability of children's dressing gowns and other nightwear.
§ Mr. Eyre:
I hope to publish soon the Department's study of domestic thermal injuries. As it contains data for a 12 month period no trend could be established from the report for burns from accidents involving children's pyjamas and dressing gowns. Moreover, available figures for accidents over a period of years show no discernable trend for accidents of this kind, although there are no separate figures for children. These figures, including some from the Department's study of domestic thermal injuries, have been considered by the working group on the flammability of clothing which first met in February 1981: its second, and only other meeting so far, was in December last. I expect the group to make recommendations later this year on nightwear. It already appears close to agreement on recommendations for children's nightwear and I hope it will soon reach agreement too on adult nightwear. Although children are at risk so are adults, especially the elderly.
The working group has in particular agreed on replacing the British Standards invoked in the Nightdresses (Safety) Regulations 1967 with newer British Standards and on adopting them in safety regulations for pyjamas. Following agreement in the group technical work is being carried out urgently to adapt the newer standards to all kinds of dressing gowns.