A Surrey businesswoman who sold amber teething products for babies which posed a choking risk has been ordered to pay fines and costs of £1,100.
Kathryn Overington was fined £500 with costs of £600 following an investigation by Buckinghamshire and Surrey Trading Standards.
She was sentenced at Guildford Magistrates Court after pleading guilty to three breaches of product safety regulations.
One offence related to amber teething bracelets which failed trading standards safety tests because both the bracelet and the individual beads could have become caught in a child’s throat. The beads were also found to be easily detachable from their string and too brittle, splitting apart into smaller sharp pieces when struck against a hard surface.
Two further offences related to wooden teething clips and wooden teething rattles which failed a requirement that products intended for teething should be smooth and avoid awkward shapes. Testing showed that edges on the products could have injured infants chewing or sucking them.
The products were sold online as teethers via Overington’s business It’s Handmade, which was based at the time in Send Marsh Road, Send. Following a complaint, trading standards launched an investigation and urged Overington to issue a product recall notice against all three products, which was made in January.
On Monday 26 June at Guildford Magistrates Court, Overington, of Tadorne Road, Tadworth was fined £200 for the safety breach relating to amber teething bracelets and £150 for each of the offences relating to the wooden teethers, giving £500 in total. She was also ordered to pay £600 prosecution costs and a victim surcharge of £30.
Denise Turner-Stewart, Surrey County Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities, said: “These products were sold as teethers for young children but could have been very dangerous and I’m pleased this retailer has been brought to justice for plying a trade in them.
“We would urge parents to be on their guard against similar teething products and to contact trading standards if they have any concerns about items they have seen on sale or already bought.”
Anyone with concerns about the safety of a product should contact the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06.