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5 Oct 2019

Beware these six teething toys with bits that break off

Small parts that came away in our tests could pose a choking risk

Six popular teething toys we bought from John Lewis, Amazon and Amazon Marketplace failed standard safety tests designed to see whether any parts of the toy detach.

Choking-risk teethers

During the tension test, part of British Standards-approved assessments for toys for children under 36 months, parts detached that were small enough to be swallowed or inhaled.

The six teething toys that failed this test were:

Although we bought the Turquoise Gummee Glove inc Red Silicone Heart from Amazon, we've also spotted it on sale at Argos and Jojo Maman Bebe.

Similarly, we purchased the Matchstick Monkey Blue Monkey Teething Toy from John Lewis, but it can be found at Boots, Mothercare, Jojo Maman Bebe and Amazon.

Could block a child's throat

Six of the 15 teething toys we tested failed the impaction test.

This tests whether there's a risk that the teething toy could block the throat of a child who is too young to sit up unaided.

These are the six teething toys that failed the impaction test and where we bought them from:

Our tests took place at an accredited lab that is experienced in testing toys for children and babies.

Natalie Hitchins, head of home products and services at Which?, said: 'The safety of teething toys should be absolutely paramount, so it's shocking that such a high proportion of the products we've tested could put children at risk of choking.

'Manufacturers that cannot guarantee the safety of these products must recall them as a matter of urgency, ensuring that they are taken off the shelves and out of people's homes.

'With the influx of unsafe products arriving through online marketplaces pushing the product safety system beyond its limit, the government must now make urgent reforms to ensure it is fit for purpose.'

Which? is urging parents to immediately stop using any products that have failed its testing.

We have reported the failures to the manufacturers, the retailers and the Office for Product Safety and Standards. Here's what they told us:

Matchstick Monkey

'The safety and quality of all Matchstick Monkey products is of paramount importance. We can confirm that all products sold worldwide and in circulation are fit for purpose and pass all international safety regulations and testing.

'We can confirm that we have full third party testing reports which pass EN71-1 and exceed all international standards.'

Matchstick Monkey said that the sample we tested is an older version of its range, which is no longer being manufactured due to a design update. However, we were still able to buy it from John Lewis in July 2019.

John Lewis

'We take product safety extremely seriously. Matchstick Monkey has demonstrated that this product has passed the relevant independent tests and adheres to international safety regulations. In our assessment, we believe this product remains safe and we continue to sell it.'

Jellystone and Slumber-Roo

'All Jellystone products are tested and meet the European Standard EN71 - Parts 1, 2 & 3. However, in this instance, we understand that this specific product falls outside of the 'size and shape' teether requirements, being slightly larger than the required template.

'We have taken on board this feedback and will investigate thoroughly. Customers who have purchased this product and should want to discuss in detail, please contact our UK Distributor Slumber-Roo at info@slumber-roo.co.uk.'

Gummee Glove

'Product safety is at the heart of Gummee Glove. As a small business, one of our biggest expenses has been investment into safety testing our products. Over the last eight years we have tested our product no less than 10 times. We choose to safety test to safety standards that are over and above what is legally required for a teething toy for our own peace of mind.

'We have asked Which? to confirm exactly how it has tested our products but so far have not received a satisfactory or detailed enough reply that enables us to work out how our product could have failed when it has been so rigorously tested by world-leading laboratories.

'We are in the process of retesting the batch that Which? tested and will be able to report back as soon as we have the results.'

Argos and Amazon have both taken the Gummee Glove off sale.


An Amazon spokesperson says: 'All sellers must follow our selling guidelines and those who do not will be subject to action including potential removal of their account. The products in question are no longer available.'

Story update 09/10/2019: Amazon has relisted the Gummee Glove.

No nasty chemicals

We also tested all 15 teething toys for their levels of phthalates. Phthalates are a group of chemicals that are banned for use in children's toys by the EU at levels above 0.1% of its total weight

All 15 teething toys contained phthalates within recommended levels.

Teething toys that passed all our tests

Just eight teething toys we tested passed all three tests. They are:

Video: see the risks posed by teething necklaces

In addition to carefully selecting any teething toys you give to your baby, we would also encourage you to be cautious with teething necklaces.

Watch our video to find out why:

Dangerous children's products

This isn't the first time our tests have uncovered unsafe products for children.

In April 2019 our tests revealed a popular children's doll sold on the high street that contained phthalates above safety levels.

In December 2018 we revealed six toy slimes that failed the EU safety standard for the levels of boron in toys.

In June 2019 Babystyle recalled its Oyster Carapace Duo-Fix i-Size car seat base after our car seat crash tests discovered a serious safety issue.

A month earlier we named three cot mattresses and eight stair gates Don't Buys, after they failed key safety tests. One of the cot mattresses was subsequently recalled.

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