Issued By
North Yorkshire
County Council

TRADING STANDARDS WARN OF YO-YO BALLS HAZARD

· Note to newsdesk - please see picture opportunity

TRADING STANDARDS officers in North Yorkshire are alerting the public and retailers to the hazards posed by yo-yo ball toys.

The toys, which are made of brightly coloured plastic, consist of a fluid-filled ball on the end of a ‘rubber string’. The toys have various names including Yo-Yo Flasher, Yo-Yo Splat Ball and Chukki’s Yucky Yo-Yo Ball.

Stuart Pudney, head of trading standards and regulatory services for North Yorkshire County Council, said: “We have been advised of two incidents, one in Middlesbrough and one in Bournemouth, where children were nearly strangled by these toys after they became wrapped around their necks.

"The string part of it stretches when the children swing it, but once caught round the neck it rapidly shortens and can choke a child. We are asking parents to watch out for these toys and shopkeepers to take them off sale. We are also contacting schools in the county to advise them of the problem.”

Schools across North Yorkshire are also being alerted to the potential dangers.

Trading Standards officers around the country have been taking steps to remove the toys from sale. The toys have been examined by Suzanne Robertson, an occupational therapist and expert on children’s behaviour.

She said that children are likely to use the toy to lasso other children, which would lead to the string of the toy wrapping round the child’s neck. The string would then tighten round the neck leading to a risk of strangulation. The children would be likely to panic and would not think to release the string. She went on to say that, although the toy was labelled with advice that it should only be used under adult supervision that would not happen in reality.

Trading Standards officers say that parents should take the toys away from children and that retailers should take them off sale and return them to their suppliers.

· Note to newsdesk - for a picture opportunity please contact David Sayer after 1pm on Monday, April 7 on 01609-532307 or Richard Flinton on 01609-766421