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'Dangerous' Huggle Buddy Hideaway Ladybirds distributed in Brent Cross left Barnet toddler with scratches and cuts
A “dangerous” soft toy distributed by a Brent Cross-based shopping channel left a toddler with scratches and cuts to her face.
The Huggle Buddy ‘Hideaway Ladybirds’, soft toy characters that can be folded into pillows, were found to contain protruding pin-like wiring which could injure young children.
Pitch TV, based at an industrial park near the Staples Corner roundabout in Brent Cross, held the rights to distribute the US-made products, which cost around £20, before it went into administration earlier this year.
Trading standards were contacted in December by a parent whose four-year-old daughter was left with scratches and cuts from one of the toys.
Barnet Council only this week issued a warning to parents to look out for metal wiring in the antenna of the ladybird, which could be harmful to their children.
A council representative said the nine-month delay had occurred because of difficulties in tracking down more of the products for testing.
An officer from trading standards told the Times Series: “We can’t do a product recall because the company no longer exists but we want parents to be aware of the issue.
“This is not the sort of thing you want to see in a child’s toy. Anything that can cut you is dangerous and for that reason people need to be aware of it.”
Council officers believe only a small number of the toys are affected, and other Huggle Buddy Hideaway designs are safe.
Barnet Council’s cabinet member for safety and resident engagement, Councillor David Longstaff, said: “This was obviously a worrying incident and we wanted to let parents know about this potentially harmful product.
“Although not many of these toys are still available to buy, parents should be aware of this issue and if they have one of these ladybird products, they should check and see if it has a metal strip in the antenna.”
Parents can contact trading standards for information on how to make the toys safe by telephoning 0208 3597443.
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