The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has announced that Ms. Bubbles, Inc. will pay a $40,000 civil penalty for failing to immediately report to the agency that it sold children’s hooded jackets with drawstrings through the hood. The California-based company has denied knowingly violating the law or that the jackets contained drawstrings. The allegations that the company agreed to resolve were based on 1996 CPSC guidelines and a 2006 CPSC Office of Compliance announcement “that children’s upper outerwear with drawstrings at the hood or neck would be regarded as defective and a substantial risk of injury to young children.” Drawstrings are considered to pose a strangling hazard.

CPSC Commissioner Nancy Nord issued a statement accompanying her approval of the penalty to express her “continuing concern that the agency needs to promulgate a rule with respect to drawstrings on children’s clothing rather than just continuing to address this risk on an ad hoc enforcement basis.” She called for a vote to be scheduled to finalize a proposed rule addressing the matter “so industry and consumers are officially on notice about the serious consequences of this hazard.”