In February 2019, Health Canada published the updated policy guidelines for the Children’s Sleepwear Regulations made under the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act (CCPSA). The new version reflects the current Health Canada policy which maintains the existing performance requirements with some added clarification.

SAFEGUARDS | SoftlinesNO. 057/19

Sleeping baby on a white bed

The Guidelines have been completely reformatted and some information has been updated, however, the requirements of the Children’s Sleepwear Regulations have not changed. Sleepwear that met the previous guidelines also meets the new guidelines.

The new guidelines provide the below information about the safety requirements that apply under the Children’s Sleepwear Regulations for children’s garments size 0 to 14X that are manufactured, imported, advertised or sold in Canada for sleeping or activities related to sleeping (e.g. nightgowns, pyjamas, sleepers and bathrobes).

  • Flammability requirements for tight-fitting and loose-fitting children’s sleepwear and accessories, including:
    • Design, dimensions and labelling criteria
    • Performance criteria and test methods
  • Requirements pertaining to the use of chemical flame retardants


Updates to the Guide

Children’s sleepwear vs. adult’s sleepwear size explanation - Chest and seat circumferences are used to differentiate between children’s sleepwear in sizes up to and including 14X, which is subject to the requirements of the Children’s Sleepwear Regulations, while adult sleepwear is subject to the requirements of the Textile Flammability Regulations. 

Requirements on numeric or non-numeric sizing label - A label stating the numeric size of a garment, such as “0-3 months” (but cannot be greater than 9 months) or “Size 8”, is required. A garment may have a label stating both the numeric and non-numeric size, such as “Small (0-3 months)” or “Medium (8-10)”, but a label stating the non-numeric size only, such as “Small”, “Newborn”, “Medium” or “One Size Fits All”, is not permitted on tight-fitting sleepwear. For loose-fitting sleepwear, the size on a label may be numeric, non-numeric, or both.

Guidance for tight-fitting garments with closures - For pockets and similar openings, the openings other than around the neck and waist or at the end of the sleeves and pant legs, such as pocket openings, bum flaps, thumb holes and spaces between closures (such as buttons, snaps or ties), must lie smoothly and close to the body, and must not be able to pucker or open wide during wear.

Flame retardant requirements - Requirements pertaining to the use of chemical flame retardants are updated, including the identification of banned flame-retardant classifications, and the added methods for testing.

Product made of absorbent fabric information is updated. Hooded towels and similar loose, unstructured products made of absorbent fabric and promoted solely for the purpose of drying a child are subject to the requirements of the Textile Flammability Regulations for textile products.

Additions to the Guide

Guidance of wearable sleepwear accessories for tight-fitting sleepwear - Children’s textile sleepwear accessories worn during sleep or activities related to going to sleep, such as night caps, sleep masks and slippers, are also subject to the flammability requirements for tight-fitting sleepwear. This applies to the accessories whether or not they are sold with a sleepwear garment.

Waist circumference measurement is added into sizing charts. The actual waist circumference cannot exceed the actual chest circumference for tight-fitting sleepers.

Physical hazards pertaining to the safety of children’s garments - The requirements on small powerful magnets, stitching and sharp objects on children’s garments are specified in Appendix 3.

Requirements on children’s foam products - Prohibited chemical flame retardants in children’s foam products are added.

Daywear and sleep sacks details - Children’s daywear composed of textile fibres is subject to the requirements of the Textile Flammability Regulations. Sleep sacks typically consist of a fabric bag that has armholes or sleeves and is closed at the feet. They are intended to replace loose blankets or other bed covers and are subject to the requirements of the Textile Flammability Regulations for bedding.

Other designs and accessories information is added. Poncho, Cape, and other designs: (1) When sleepwear consists of two or more garments of different styles that are capable of being worn either together or separately, each garment must be evaluated separately to determine the requirements with which the particular garment must comply. (2) Tight-fitting sleepwear with attachable accessories must meet the criteria applicable to their style when the accessories are attached. Otherwise, they are subject to the requirements for loose-fitting sleepwear.

Requirements of upholstered stuffed articles are eliminated. Upholstered and stuffed articles are not included in the new guidelines.

For full details, please refer to the guidance document that can be requested from your local Health Canada Office. In addition to the product-specific requirements stated in the updated guidelines, it is prohibited to manufacture, import, advertise or sell any consumer product that is a "danger to human health or safety" as defined in the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act (CCPSA).


[1] Children’s sleepwear: Flammability requirement guidelines - Summary
[2] Children’s Sleepwear Regulations SOR/2016-169

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