Sears Holdings is one of nine US firms that have been fined a total of $355,000 for failing to report to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) that they sold children's outerwear garments with drawstrings at the hood and neck.

Under federal law, companies cannot sell these products because they pose a strangulation hazard that can cause death to children.

The garments concerned included hooded sweatshirts, jackets and sweaters which were eventually recalled.

The importers, distributors and retailers paying the penalties are: AJ Blue LLC, A&R Knitwear Inc, Cobmex Inc, Liberty Apparel Co Inc, Rebelette International Trading Corp, Scope Imports Inc, Sears Holdings Management Corp, Siegfried & Parzival Inc, and Vacation Clothing Exchange Inc.