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Hats on sale at a Kent market could strangle a child, Kent's trading standards officers reveal

02 January 2014
by KentOnline reporter

A hat which could act as a noose to strangle a child has been sold on market stalls in Kent, it's been revealed.

The hats are modelled on popular children's characters such as Spongebob Squarepants, Hello Kitty and Minions from Despicable Me.

But Kent County Council's trading standards officers have now issued an alert, after it was revealed the fastening on the hat doesn't come loose... and could act as a noose if caught.

The potentially dangerous hats have been on sale on a Kent market stall

Officers seized the 30 hats, which are made in China and sell for between £5 and £10, from a market stall in Thanet.

There are now fears they could be on sale in other markets across the county.

Safety tests revealed the hats, which are designed to be fastened under the chin, don't release if caught on play equipment or in a car door.

The ties then form a "noose", which doesn't break under pressure.

The potentially dangerous hats have been on sale on a Kent market stall

Trading Standards Manager Mark Rolfe said: “These hats present a very real risk of strangulation to children.

"Strangulation caused by badly-designed clothing has caused the death of children" - Mark Rolfe

"We are very concerned that they will have made highly appealing Christmas gifts and that any child wearing one will be in danger.

"Strangulation caused by badly-designed clothing has caused the death of children.

“We recommend that, if you have any of these hats in your home, you dispose of them immediately and report the purchase to Trading Standards.”

For further advice, or to report the sale of other potentially dangerous items, please contact Trading Standards on 08454 040506.

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