North East Lincolnshire Council Trading Standards officers have issued a warning to parents of young babies in the area, after one woman was fined for selling baby teething products that were a choking hazard.
The case involving a woman in Surrey ended with a £500 fine and court costs of £600 after she had been found to have been selling handmade teething products that were small in size, brittle and prone to breaking into smaller, sharp pieces.
Councillor David Bolton, portfolio holder for public protection, said: “Parents of young babies have to be cautious when buying items similar to these for their child. Be sure to think about the risks of choking, breakages and alike.
“In North East Lincolnshire we also have a growing community of skilled traders who make excellent, quality products. The message that we should take from this is to research the proper requirements before producing products – think about the intended audience and consider the risks of small, sharp objects.”
Trading Standards manager Neil Clark said: “Teething products and similar items for babies are generally required to be smooth and to avoid sharp edges, be made of strong materials, and be fairly resilient.
“In this case, the products posed a dangerous choking risk to youngsters.
“Hairclips and hair bows with decorative jewels are also becoming popular, and these items pose a similar risk in that they are often small, and easily breakable. The decorative jewels can be a choking hazard.
“If people are in doubt about a product, they should contact trading standards or seek advice through the Citizens Advice consumer helpline.
“If you make or manufacture similar goods, it is your responsibility to ensure the goods are safe and legal. For advice around the law relating to the safety of products people traders should refer to www.businesscompanion.info.”
To report something in confidence to Trading Standards, visit www.nelincs.gov.uk/scams or call the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 040506.