Philip LeShirley, product safety adviser at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) on Baby Bling. 

With so many eye-catching baby clothes and accessories for sale both in stores and on the internet, it’s no wonder that parents are being drawn into buying different, imaginative products for their newborns. But RoSPA and Trading Standards officers have noticed a worrying trend among parents who are opting to use “bling dummies” to soothe their children, along with “bling clips” and “bling bottles”.

The “bling” refers to stuck-on beads, gems and other decorations added to baby products, such as dummies, in order to bring a touch of sparkle. But this process of accessorising serves no useful purpose and instead poses some very serious hazards which parents should be made aware of.

While many of these products are manufactured by legitimate companies in accordance with the highest safety standards, other companies have been known to buy these products and glue on extra decorative items such as gems. There are strict controls on adding such decoration to soothers, bottles and other baby products and, as such, these customised products are potentially unsafe. Likewise, parents should not take the view that products like these are safe just because they have a watchful eye on their babies – it is simply not possible to supervise children every second of the day. And, in fact, a huge amount of enforcement action has already been taken against suppliers of these products, primarily to address serious choking hazards which are posed when the “bling” becomes detached.

An additional concern is that some of these dummies and bottles are being imported from the Far East and have been made available on websites and in independent shops and market stalls. This means that they may not have been subjected to the same rigorous testing for chemicals and durability as UK dummies and bottles. Just because these products are on sale does not mean that they are safe for your baby and RoSPA is urging parents to prioritise their baby’s safety over accessorising products in this way.

If consumers have concerns about any products they have seen advertised, contact Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 08454 04 05 06.

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