Teething troubles: Children’s toy choke hazard exposed

Parents are being warned about the choking risk posed by some teething toys, after almost half of the products tested by Which? failed at least one safety test.

The consumer champion conducted tests on 15 products, in accordance with the British Standard for toys for children under 36 months. The products were bought both from high street shops and online, and were a mix of products that had featured in ‘top 10’ teething toy lists or were prominently listed on Amazon.

The products underwent a “tension test” – which assesses whether any parts that detach are small enough to be swallowed or inhaled – as well as an “impaction test”, which looks at whether a teething toy could block the throat of a child who is too young to sit up unaided.

Five products failed both tests and all were available from Amazon. Four of these – the Silvio Baby Teether and Toothbrush, Gupamiga Baby Toothbrush Teether Infant Toothbrush Corn, Icebleuor Giraffe Baby Teether and the SLGOL Baby Silicone Teething Toys – were purchased through Amazon Marketplace.

The fifth – Gummee Glove – was sold directly by Amazon. It has removed all five of the products it listed.

The sixth product to fail the tension test was Matchstick Monkey Blue Monkey Teething Toy, bought from John Lewis, while the Moustache Teether, produced by Jellystone Designs and sold by slumber-roo.co.uk was the sixth to fail the impaction test. The latter has been taken off sale while slumber-roo.co.uk investigates.

Which? also carried out a third test to assess the 15 toys for levels of phthalates – a group of chemicals that are banned for use in children’s toys by the EU at levels above 0.1% of a product’s total weight. All 15 teething toys contained phthalates within recommended levels.

Just eight products passed all three tests Which? carried out. The consumer champion has reported the failures to the manufacturers, retailers and the Office for Product Safety and Standards.

Which? is urging parents to immediately stop using any products that have failed its testing, and advising people looking to buy a teething toy to choose one that has passed its tests.

This isn’t the first time Which? testing has uncovered unsafe children’s products. In the last year alone the consumer champion has exposed a popular children’s doll sold on the high street that contained phthalates above safety levels, half a dozen toy slimes that failed the EU safety standard for boron and a car seat that was recalled by the manufacturer after crash tests revealed a serious safety issue.

The problem of unsafe toys making it into people’s homes appears to be getting worse. Previous Which? analysis of Safety Gate, a rapid warning system through which 31 European countries warn each other of products with serious safety problems, showed that there were 150 more alerts in 2018 than 2008.

As a series of recent Which? investigations have shown, the growth of online marketplaces appears to be one of the major factors behind this surge. Which? believes that online marketplaces should take greater responsibility for the products sold on their sites and introduce better measures to prevent dodgy dealers having free reign to list unsafe products.

In addition, ahead of the Queen’s Speech, Which? is calling on the government to better protect consumers from unsafe products by establishing the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) as an independent, arm’s-length, consumer product safety body which has a duty to operate transparently and put public safety first.

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.”



  1. Images available on request
  2. Tables


Tension test


Name Bought from
Silivo Baby Teether and Toothbrush Amazon Marketplace
Gupamiga Baby Toothbrush Teether Infant Toothbrush Corn Amazon Marketplace
Matchstick Monkey Blue Monkey Teething Toy John Lewis
Iceblueor Giraffe Baby Teether Amazon Marketplace
Gummee Glove Amazon
SLGOL Baby Silicone Teething Toys (pineapple only) Amazon Marketplace



Impaction test


Name Bought from
Silivo Baby Teether and Toothbrush Amazon Marketplace
Gupamiga Baby Toothbrush Teether Infant Toothbrush Corn Amazon Marketplace
Iceblueor Giraffe Baby Teether Amazon Marketplace
Gummee Glove Amazon
Jellystone Designs jchews Moustache Teether Slumber-roo.co.uk
SLGOL Baby Silicone Teething Toys (all four toys in four pack) Amazon Marketplace


Products that passed all tests


Name Bought from
Comotomo Silicone Baby Teether Amazon
Cheeky Chompers Chewy the Hippo Teether Amazon
Bright Starts Kids II Lots of Links Amazon
Rosa & Bo Bo Bunny Amazon
Dr Brown’s Coolees Watermelon Amazon
Sophie la Girafe teether John Lewis
The Original Toy Corp Gertie the Good Goose Sweetdreamers.co.uk
Halia Rose Elephant Teether Haliarose.co.uk


  • All products tested may be available from other retailers in addition to those mentioned



  1. Right of replies


  • Matchstick Monkey said: “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


  • John Lewis said: “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 said: “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 said: “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 8 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 they have 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.”Amazon has 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.”








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