Issued By
West Yorkshire Trading
Standards Service

Don’t Be A Dummy!

West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service is warning consumers and traders of the potential dangers surrounding two new crazes that could lead to tragedy.

Flashing light necklaces in the shape of babies’ dummies are being worn by teenagers and young clubbers throughout the region. The “dummy” consists of a clear plastic shell with a flashing light facility and is attached to a textile cord. The packaging states “Made in China” and “This product is made with international standard material”. The reverse of the card says “I am a baby, I need to be loved”.

Two cases of children sustaining blisters and burns to their mouths have been reported, one involving a child as young as three. The burns appear to have been caused when the child’s mouth has come into contact with the circuit board when the plastic casing has come away during use.

In addition to concerns about the electronics of the toy, small parts pose a choking hazard to children under three, and the inappropriate length of the cord is a potential strangulation threat.

All retailers are being asked to remove the dummies from sale and so far West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service has received full cooperation from all traders in West Yorkshire particularly the Leeds and Wakefield areas where most sales have been reported.

Yo-yo balls are another current playground hit. These toys are a soft, squeezy rubber like ball filled with a liquid and are attached to an elasticated cord.

Trading Standards officers have become aware of incidents where children have been almost strangled when the cord has become entangled around another child’s neck.

These items are likely to breach the Toys (Safety) Regulations and officers are currently advising importers and retailers within the area to not stock or sell the item.

Martin Wood, Chief Officer West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service said “These items appear innocent and good fun. However, recent incidents have shown the potential dangers involved when using them. I would ask all retailers of these to take them off sale voluntarily with immediate effect and return them to their source of supply if known.”

Councillor Graham Clarke, Chairman West Yorkshire Joint Services, said “We do not want to appear to be over reacting, but with children involved I feel the safety first approach is correct. I would ask all parents to be extra vigilant to prevent a tragedy occurring.”

For further information:

Kevin Robson - Trading Standards Officer 0113 289 8241
Paul Cooper - Divisional Manager 0113 289 8240
Graham Hebblethwaite - Divisional Manager & Media Contact 0113 289 8218

Notes to editors:

1) The dummies have been tested under the toy standard EN71:

· The plastic cover over the circuit board was removed on the application of a 90 N tensile force

· The cord measures 760mm and well exceeds the limit of 380mm

2) Samples of both toys are available for photographs