Trading Standards warning issued over pontential choke hazards

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Some necklaces and bracelets intended to ease teething pain for babies are potential choking hazards, it is being warned.

Trading Standards Officers from Nottinghamshire County Council have been alerted to Amber Teething products, including necklaces, bracelets and anklets, which are designed and marketed for children under 36 months.

Some of the items on the UK market have failed safety testing in the UK. This is due to the possibility of:

small parts becoming detached and ingested, the actual item itself, as a whole, becoming a choking or strangulation hazard and problems related to the clasps, including magnets which have a magnetic lux index over the permitted levels, which may cause damage by sticking together inside the body if ingested.

One of the failed tests was carried out under the Toy Safety Standard BS EN 71, which seeks to prevent injuries to children under 36 months from choking, inhaaling or swallowing small objects via the mouth. The test involves placing the object into a specially designed test cylinder that is replicated to the size of the throat of a child under 36 months - if the item fits into the cylinder, it fails.

Several suppliers in the UK and across Europe have withdrawn the product, however similar products remain available.

To date, investigations by Trading Standards have not found any retailers selling teething necklaces but they are widely available on the internet and it is feared local parents may have purchased them.

Anyone who has bought a similar necklace or has seen them on sale should contact Trading Standards via the Citizens Advice Consumer helpline on 08454 04 50 06.

Sarah Ridley, trading standards officer at Nottinghamshire County Council said, “Although the necklaces are designed to be worn, not chewed, there is a serious risk involved in giving any product with small parts to small children. Should the beads or clasps become detached, the parts are a choking hazard and the necklace as a whole presents a risk of strangulation.

“Although we have not yet found any Nottinghamshire retailers selling the necklaces, we are concerned that parents from our area may have bought them online and they need to be aware of the dangers.”