Public warning on latex Sanbrook happy baby dummies


Parents and carers should take extreme care if they are using any Sanbrook Happy Baby Soft Feel Natural Latex Cherry Soothers or Happy Baby Soft Feel Nite Glo Natural Latex Cherry Soothers.

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission deputy chair Peter Kell today announced a public warning notice has today been issued about the risks of choking for infants due to potential teat separation.

"Although tests on Sanbrook dummies involved in an initial four reports we received this July proved inconclusive, in the past week we have received reports that another 25 instances of teat separation have occurred since late January this year," Mr Kell said.

"As a result the ACCC recognises this as a matter of significant public safety and are urgently conducting further investigations.

"To avoid the threat of choking caused when a teat comes off one of these dummies, parents and carers should take extreme care if they are using any Sanbrook Happy Baby Soft Feel Natural Latex Cherry Soothers or Happy Baby Soft Feel Nite Glo Natural Latex Cherry Soothers," Mr Kell said.

An independent expert engaged by the ACCC has found that in almost all incidents where dummies were available for examination, the teat had separated in a neat cross section immediately above or below the bead that attaches the teat to the shield.

"The ACCC's investigations into the cause of this problem and any additional actions we will take to protect consumers using Sanbrook and other brands of dummies that are found to be unsafe are continuing urgently," Mr Kell said.

"In the meantime, parents and carers should watch infants closely whenever they are using dummies to ensure that the teat does not come off and block the infant’s airway.

"If a teat lodges in an infant’s throat, choking can happen very quickly", he said.

"As recently as last month, a Queensland mother heard her six week old son gagging on the teat that had come off his dummy and had lodged in his throat.
"Fortunately she was close enough and fast enough to remove the teat from his throat with her finger, enabling him to breathe before it was too late.

Mr Kell recommended several other steps to take when using and caring for dummies to minimise the risk of teats coming off:

  • Check the dummy before each use by pulling hard on the teat and tugging on the handle and ring to make sure the teat will not give way under pressure.
  • Never leave a child with a dummy in their mouth if they cannot remove it on their own.
  • Throw dummies away as soon as they show signs of wear and tear.
  • Never leave a dummy in direct sunlight.
  • Always have two to three dummies available.
  • Sterilise or wash dummies as recommended by the manufacturer—usually involves placing the baby dummy in a baby-bottle sterilising solution or boiling water.
  • Be particularly vigilant when your child is teething as the dummy teat may be especially subject to damage through biting.
  • Never attach dummies to children’s clothes or their cot or pram with a ribbon or string. These ties can wrap around a child’s neck and cause strangulation.

Anyone who has experienced teats coming off dummies should immediately contact the ACCC on 1300 302 502.

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Contact details

Media inquiries
Ms Lin Enright, Director, media (02) 6243 1108, or 0414 613 520
Mr Brent Rebecca, Media (02) 6243 1317 or 0408 995 408
General inquiries
Infocentre 1300 302 502
NR 173/10
20 August 2010

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