Parents could be putting their babies at risk when using homemade ‘dummy clips’, Oldham Council’s Trading Standards Department is warning.
Recent rises in the selling of these products on social networking sites has caused concern.
Most of the devices are made from ribbon and small decorated beads and help to fasten a dummy to a baby’s clothing.
Possible safety issues include no ventilation holes, small beads which could cause choking, the use of toxic adhesives and failure to meet impact resistance tests.
As the products are often made at home and sold on the internet the traders are often unaware of the standards they need to meet in order to ensure that the goods are safe.
Councillor Steven Bashforth, Deputy Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Devolved Services, said: “We would advise anyone who has bought any of these products to check with their supplier that the items meet the required safety standards before using them around children.”
‘Bling’ dummies and customised babies’ feeding bottles have also been identified as potentially harmful.
The fad in customising baby equipment and selling them on social networking sites has led to epetitions being launched to ban the sale of them.
One epetition, calling for a 'Ban [on] dangerous and high risk home made dummy clips and bling dummies', claims: "These products contain risks due to chemicals, sharp parts and small parts that can pose risk of injury, illness or death."
However at the time of writing, only 42 people had signed it.
Council Trading Standards officers are working to identify sellers of these items to check that they meet the standards and give them the relevant information.
Mr Bashforth said: “The safety of children is a priority for us. Whilst we’ve not received any reports of children in the Borough being injured by one of these products we believe they could potentially be harmful.
“Anyone who is found to be selling goods that do not meet safety standards could face the prospect of legal action being taken against them.”
Following similar safety concerns in Australia, the government last year banned the trade of any dummy chains with decorations, including those with 'crystals, beads or other similar ornaments'.
The Product Safety Australia website states: "If the ornaments detach from the dummy chain they may become a choking, inhalation or ingestion hazard, creating a risk of death, illness or injury to the baby.
"Children under the age of three often place objects in their mouths and do not have a sufficiently well developed cough reflex to clear throat obstructions and are therefore more prone to choking on small objects.
"Objects inhaled into the lungs can be very difficult for medical personnel to locate and remove, while ingested objects can cause serious internal damage to children."
Any local traders seeking advice on meeting these standards should contact Oldham Trading Standards on 0161 770 4470 or email@example.com