‘Strangle hats’ seized over fears for kids

The colourful kids' hats have been found to have 'potential for strangulation'. Picture: contributed

The colourful kids' hats have been found to have 'potential for strangulation'. Picture: contributed

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DOZENS of children’s bobble hats have been seized from city centre traders amid fears they could strangle youngsters.

The brightly-coloured hats – featuring cartoon favourites like Hello Kitty and a figure from the Despicable Me films – have been ruled unsafe because the under-chin straps could act as a noose and throttle kids.

Trading Standards officers have raided stallholders in Edinburgh, seizing 46 of the danger hats following an identical sweep on traders in 
Nottinghamshire.

A recall has now been issued on the furry items and shoppers are asked to report any traders selling the hazardous hats in future.

It is thought a pop-up stall in the St James Centre was among those targeted.

A source said: “The issue with the design is that they have two tiers, one which is a loop. One tier goes through the other’s loop and they have bobbles on the end. Because of this design there is no mechanism for the tiers to disconnect meaning there is potential for strangulation.

“Identical hats were submitted to an accredited test house by officers in Nottinghamshire and the expert found that there was potential for 
strangulation.”

Parents are advised to bin the danger hats or contact the council who have vowed to 
investigate further.

Councillor Joanna Mowat, who represents the City Centre ward, urged shoppers to be vigilant and report anyone they see selling them.

She said: “If Trading Standards have deemed them a risk I would hope they would stop being sold.

“If you think you own one of the these things please just take care.”

Echoing this, Andy Neal, chairman of Essential Edinburgh, which represents hundreds of businesses in the city centre, said: “Safety for children is paramount and anything Essential Edinburgh can do to support Trading Standards officers in helping to remove these items we will do.”

A council spokeswoman said: “We would urge any members of the public who already own one of these items to dispose of it immediately and contact Trading Standards to let them know where you purchased it.

“If you see one of these hats for sale contact us on 0131-529 3030. We are carrying out an investigation into the matter.”