The safety of textile products is important because many of them remain in prolonged skin contact in everyday use. Textiles are also used by particularly sensitive groups such as babies and children. Textile products include bedding, curtains, rugs, clothes (such as tops, trousers, headwear and gloves) and babies' nappies. Textiles must meet the general safety requirements set in product safety legislation. They must not pose a risk to consumer health or safety.
Typical safety problems found in textiles are related to:
- cords and drawstrings in children's clothes;
- small parts (decorations etc.) that may come off and that small children may put in their mouth, causing suffocation;
- nickel in buttons and snap fasteners;
- formaldehyde in bedding and clothes;
- insufficient product markings in general.
Textiles must come with the information necessary for their safe usage throughout their useful life. This information must be provided in a clear and comprehensible format and, as a rule, in both Finnish and Swedish. The information must be provided on an easy-to-find part of the item.
Clothes intended for children under the age of 7 and 134cm or under in height may not have any cords or drawstrings in the hood or around the head. These may cause a risk of strangulation or other danger in situations where they get caught in items such as playground equipment, ski-lifts, public transport or lift doors or escalators.
If you already possess young children's clothes that have cords or drawstrings in the hood or neck area, you can remove it these yourself. Also parents who make clothes for their children should pay particular attention to this and avoid using cords and drawstrings in the hood and neck area of clothes intended for small children in particular. There must not be cords placed in the hem below hip level either as these may get caught in moving vehicles, particularly when worn by older children.