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Published 19 March 2012

Unsafe dummies

Parents are being urged to think safety over style, after Trading Standards officers seized a number of potentially lethal ‘baby bling’ accessories on sale in West Dunbartonshire.

Dummies, dummy straps, baby bottles, feedings bowls and bibs adorned with diamante gems have been seized after they were found to be a potential choking hazard from the beads and gems used to decorate the accessories.

Tests carried out on the products revealed the small gems can become detached without substantial force and when the product is sterilised using hot boiling water, the glue used to attach the gems can become loose posing serious problems if swallowed.

Trading Standard officers warned anyone caught selling these unsafe items, risks a fine of up to £20,000.

Trading Standards Section Head, David McCulloch said: "Businesses and individuals are readily advertising these products on the internet and social networking sites and I would urge parents to avoid this dangerous trend and take safety over style when choosing goods for their baby.

He continued: "Although the sellers may claim the products are 'safe' or for 'decorative purposes only' the products may not be safe as the test results show, and they can be potentially lethal to small children. Not all 'baby bling' products on the market were tested, so there may be some safe ones out there, but the ones tested by our officers all presented a dangerous choking hazard."

Kirsten Halliday, Authorised Officer, added: " This current trend for 'baby bling' is very worrying, not only do they often feature prohibited decorations but in recent tests the hand-glued beads and gems have been found to become easily detached, resulting in a danger of choking to a baby or small child. There are strict safety standards in place on these items for a reason and manufacturers must adhere to these regulations in order that they produce a safe product. I would urge parents to think twice before buying these decorated 'bling' items and instead pick from a wide range of safe products which have been tested and are readily available on the open market."

Residents can contact Trading Standards to report businesses where these dangerous products are being sold to ensure they are withdrawn from sale. Any local trader who is considering manufacturing or selling products of this type is urged to seek advice. For further advice contact Trading Standards 01389 738290.