Ana Garcia Investigates: Carter's Tagless Baby Clothing

Ana Garcia reported on complaints about rashes caused by Carter's tagless baby clothes.

More Information: Zrecs | Consumer Products Safety Commission | Contact Investigative Producer On Report:

The following is a transcript of the report.

A Long Beach family puzzled by a rash on their baby's back says they believe they have found the cause: a tag less label on the baby's clothing.  Ana Garcia investigates.

Ana Garcia: Amy Muir of Long Beach says her son Cooper had a mysterious rash for most of the summer.

Amy Muir: We started noticing a rash on his upper back and it got worse and worse.

Ana Garcia: Cooper's dad Jason is a doctor and even he was puzzled.

Dr. Jason Muir: It was weeping and some of the skin would peel off .

Ana Garcia: They took Cooper to a pediatric dermatologist. Dr. Muir says he was given this diagnosis.

Dr. Jason Muir: It didn't seem like typical eczema.

Ana Garcia: The parents say after two months of a persistent rash right below Cooper's neck …one morning they noticed.

Amy Muir: The pajamas were stuck to the skin and back of his neck.

Amy Muir: I started to pull and the skin came off with his pajamas.

Ana Garcia: The Muir's claim there's something in the tag less label stamped on the Carter's clothing that’s causing the problem.

Amy Muir: I went online and found moms with similar problems. …Posting pictures exactly like my son's rash.

Ana Garcia: A parent in New Jersey posted a photo of her daughter's rash on this blog….other websites and messages boards describe dozens of similar complaints in other states.

Amy Muir: I called Carter's at 12 o'clock that night.

Ana Garcia: She says Carter's called her right back, and told her there had been other complaints about these solid plastic-like labels from the Fall 2007 line.  Carter's offered to refund her money if she would send the clothes back.  In August, Carter's sent her a teddy bear for Cooper and this letter expressing "concern about the problem" and how they adhere to "stringent quality control" but the letter didn't say anything about the tag less label.

Jason Muir: I think there’s a chemical irritant, I don't think it’s an allergic reaction to plastic because he has other types of plastics on his body all the time.

Ana Garcia: We contacted Carter's and they told us they  "…are very concerned about any child who may have had a skin reaction while wearing our garments…."

As a result of  "…an internal review of the product …our investigation and testing provide no indication that the labels contain any known skin irritants…" Carter's says Cooper and the other babies have experienced nothing beyond "rare allergic reactions to an otherwise safe product."

Ana Garcia: And Carter's notes the problem appears to be with the "solid background labels" like these. Carter's says they've changed the labels, but we found baby clothes with those labels still for sale at the Carter's stores in Long Beach and Canoga Park. Most of the tags we found say Made In China. The Muirs say the clothes that caused Cooper's rash were from China, but Carter's says the issue is not specific to Chinese made clothes.

Amy Muir: I want Carter's to be a little more open about what's going on.  Why aren't there signs up in their store?

Ana Garcia: Carter's told me they are now testing the tag less labels at an independent lab. Carter's also says the label maker has "certified they were made according to federal safety standards and are not toxic."

Ana Garcia: Carter's stresses they have "…used tag-less labels for many years on hundreds of millions of products."

Ana Garcia: While the Muir family waits for the results of Carter's testing… they've gone ahead and separated the Carter's clothing out of Cooper's wardrobe. He still has a little red spot on his back -- this, weeks after he stopped wearing the clothes.

Ana Garcia: So what's he wearing now?

Amy Muir: He's wearing tags now, good old-fashioned tags!

Ana Garcia: We'll stay on this story and let you know the Carter's test results. The consumer product safety commission in Washington says they are aware of the problem and they are evaluating the situation. In the meantime if you have a problem they say you should file a complaint with Carter's and the commission. Ana Garcia, Channel 4 news.

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