There has been a change recently in how Amber Teething Necklaces and Bracelets/Anklets are to be labelled in this country. Previously, amber for teething has been sold throughout the world with the label “Use under Supervision”. Because there is no dedicated EU directive dealing with these products, they must be considered for labelling under the EU Toy Safety Regulations EN-71-1. When considered under this legislation, a certain test is applied to judge their suitability for use under 3 years. This test involves 3 elements; Size, Tension (strength of cord) and Impact. These products will not pass these tests, primarily because of their small size. The contention is that a child under 3 could put the necklace or bracelet / anklet in their mouth, in which case and it would not be safe. So we are obliged to label them as “Not Suitable for under 3 years”. The product as a whole is what is under consideration. There is no question about the amber itself.
To add to the confusion regarding these products, they are being considered for labelling differently in different EU countries. The Irish and UK authorities are applying the full rigors of the testing procedures to them. But the authorities in other countries consider it is necessary to only apply the Tension test. They have developed a new type of clasp which breaks at a lesser force than the more common screw type clasp. A product with this new type of clasp is given EN71 certification from at least 4 EU countries as “Suitable for use under 3 years”. Some are advising to attach the label “Use under Supervision” also. We do not stock this type of clasp as from a sample we put to test, they came apart too easily and kept falling off the child. Amber on the loose is not a great idea!
In the absence of a comprehensive EU dedicated directive on this and with the recommendations from Trading Standards here in the UK, we have relabelled all our Amber Products as “Not suitable for use under 3 years”. For further information about how to use amber, please look at our observations on our safety page.
Please feel free to contact us in you would like further clarification on any of the above points.