Macy's children's sweatshirts and sweaters recalled over drawstring risk

Macy's is recalling 33,000 children's sweaters and sweatshirts sold nationwide between last August and March because they have drawstrings, which have been effectively prohibited since 1996 on kid's clothes because they pose a risk of strangulation.

The strings at issue in this case are actually non-functional ties, but have still run afoul of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, the nation's arbiters of safety. A spate of drawstring related recalls were issued earlier this year.

Sweatshirts subject to the recall were sold at Macy's under the Epic Threads and Greendog brands. The recall includes boys and girls Epic Threads sweatshirts and girls Greendog sweaters. The Epic Threads sweatshirts are white, gray, maroon, yellow, blue, green, and black, with images on the front and/or back. The girls Greendog sweaters are brown and gray. Only sizes small and medium are subject to the recall. No injuries or incidents have been reported for this recall.

The issue over drawstrings followed a series of strangulation deaths of children. The strings would get caught in such things as doors or playground equipment , leaving the children trapped with the strings wrapped around their necks.

Those with the sweatshirts and sweaters are asked to cut off the strings or return the garments to any Macy's for a full refund. Customers can contact Macy's toll-free at (888) 257-5949 of visit Macy' for more information.

A Macy's spokeswoman said the company did not realize the non-functional ties would be considered drawstrings under the federal guideline prohibiting them.

"Macy's highest priority is the safety of our customers. Macy's has been very aware of the CPSC's guidance and the voluntary industry standard that prohibits children's sweatshirts and jackets with drawstrings," spokeswoman Beth Charlton said. " We have consistently taken steps to ensure that our Macy's brands children hooded sweatshirts do not contain drawstrings."

Because the ties were decorative, she said, the company did not believe they were prohibited. Once the CPSC determined they were, the company recalled them and will change its approach.

"We have a policy to prohibit the use of any type of tie near the neck in our Macy's brands children's outerwear in the size range covered by the guidance and voluntary standard," Charlton said. "We will continue to work with the CPSC to identify all necessary actions to ensure our customers' safety."

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