Release date: 6 October 2020
Dangerous ‘baby dummy holders’ are being sold online, an investigation by West Sussex Trading Standards has revealed.
Trading Standards officers bought nine types of holder from market place sites and sent them for safety testing.
All failed the tests, posing either a serious risk of strangulation or choking.
This was because of their excessively long chords which meant a baby could potentially wrap it around their neck and suffocate. The beads on some of the chords also shattered easily and the small pieces could choke a young child.
The safety standard for these products sets out a maximum chord length of 220mm. Those holders that failed had chord lengths up to 325mm posing a serious strangulation risk.
Customers are being urged to only buy recognised brands from known UK sellers.
Peter Aston, West Sussex Trading Standards Team Manager, said: “Using any one of these holders could have had fatal consequences and as a result, we are taking this investigation incredibly seriously.
“The market place sites are de-listing the products and enquiries are continuing to establish if the sellers have a physical presence in the UK. Where this is the case, a formal investigation will take place. However in a number of cases it appears the product is coming straight from China. In this situation, whilst the product can be de-listed by the market place site, liability falls with the Chinese manufacturer rather than the market place site.
“As this is clearly a national issue, we are sharing our findings with the Office for Product Safety and Standards for their consideration.”
Deborah Urquhart, West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for Environment, said: “These are worrying results and the consequences of using any one of these holders could have been devastating. I would urge residents to only buy from trusted, recognised brands when purchasing products online.”
Anyone who thinks they have purchased an unsafe product, should contact Trading Standards at www.westsussex.gov.uk/tsreport or via Citizens Advice on 08082231133.