Making Dummy Chains

Making Dummy Chains – What you need to know!

Posted on Posted in DIY Articles

Designing and making your own beaded products can be a very fulfilling and even a profitable way to spend your time. Now days there are so many great components to choose from and amazing products to make, but today we will be talking about everything you need to know about Dummy Chains! What are they? What should you avoid? What safety standards are there? We have put together all the answers you need right here.

What is a dummy chain

Dummy Chains, also known as Soother Holders, are a strap/chain which attaches at one end to a dummy and on the other end features a clip which allows the product to fasten onto clothing to prevent the dummy from falling to the ground when dropped. They can come in a variety of styles, from beaded designs to simple straps. Some examples of materials used are; ribbons, strings, cords, chains, twines, leathers, yarns, beads, and more.

What to avoid

The first thing to remember when designing and recommending the use for dummy holders is that the item is not a toy. As such, the dummy chain should only ever be used to hold a dummy. If a toy is attached to a dummy holder then the entire item will be considered a baby toy, and will then in turn be subject to the mandated safety requirements for baby toys. Long story short; a dummy chain of any design will almost certainly fail the toy safety standard.

For more information about the Australian toy safety standard, see our detailed article HERE

The next thing you should consider is the quality and suitability of the components used to make a dummy chain. Product Safety Australia and the ACCC have circulated notices of a ban for the use of so called “bling” to make dummy chains. The word “bling” in this context refers to a number of different types of items, such as; crystals, or beads of glass or plastic, and other similar ornaments that do not meet minimum safety requirements.

When selecting materials to use, you should only select quality, durable, and non-toxic components.

Safety requirements

In Australia, dummy chains are mandated to comply with minimum safety standards for their construction and materials used. The mandatory standard was created to reduce the risk of small parts coming off toys during play or after reasonable wear and tear. It covers details such as length, impact resistance, strength of the fastener, and the tensile strength of cord/ribbon used. The objective of the standards is to prevent the risk of strangulation, choking, and other potential forms of harm.

Where to find safety standard information

Detailed information about voluntary and mandatory safety requirements for dummy chains can found in the standards document ‘EN 12586 Child use and care articles – Soother holder – Safety requirements and test methods’ . This document needs to be referenced in conjunction with current legislation which will indicate the sections of the standard which are mandated for compliance. Current legislation can be found on the Federal Register of Legislation website here:

Currently the required sections of EN 12586 are as follows:

Section 5.1.5 – Decoration;
Section 5.1.6 – Length;
Section 5.2.1 – Impact resistance;
Section 5.2.2 – Durability of the garment fastener; and
Section 5.2.3 – Tensile strength.

Unfortunately the actual standards document EN 12586 which is referenced in the legislation is under copy-right by SAI Global, and as such is not free nor is it permitted to be shared.

You can purchase a copy of this document from the SAI Global website (see here) or over the phone.

Lab certification

Details in the safety standard and testing procedures are very specific, using precise numbers measured in pounds of pressure per square inch and other requirements that are very difficult or impossible to test at home without specialised testing equipment. However this is where certified lab testing services come in to fill the breach.

Testing labs will typically ask for two samples or more of the product to examine and certify against each section of the safety standard. When a product passes, you are provided with an official certification document to keep. In the event of a product failing the test, you will be provided with specific information about what section(s) of the standard were not met.

Individual parts certification vs finished product testing.

Sometimes people may be confused by what it means to purchase certified individual components, such as beads, or cord, which may be individually tested for safety standards, and how that relates to when a product is constructed using them. While you should ensure to buy components which are certified to be quality and non-toxic, always keep in mind that the certification of a product will be determined once the item is fully assembled. Potentially items which have certifications individually may create a final constructed product that does not meet all requirements. There would be nothing worse though than to do everything right while designing and constructing your product, only for it to fail compliance due to inferior or toxic components that are used.

For certified non-toxic supplies, shop at


Product Safety Australia

Non-Toxic beads and supplies

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