Dangerous counterfeit hats which could strangle a child have been seized by Bath & North East Somerset Council as a safety precaution.
The hats, sold for between £5 and £10, are designed to be fastened under the chin but the fake versions do not release if caught on play equipment like a slide or toy car door.
Safety tests found the under-chin ties on the hats – which are of well-known characters such as The Muppets, Angry Birds and Hello Kitty – form a noose which does not break under pressure.
Bath & North East Somerset Council Trading Standards officers seized some of the hats from a market stall and a shop in Bath and are now issuing a warning to parents.
Councillor David Dixon (Lib-Dem, Oldfield), Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, said: “These hats present a very real risk of strangulation to children. They may have been given to children as highly appealing Christmas gifts but we are very concerned that any child wearing one could be in danger.
“We recommend that, if you have any of these hats in your home, you report the purchase to Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Trading Standards team who can offer further advice.”
Anyone who spots the hats on sale is urged to report the seller to Trading Standards immediately.
For further advice, or to report the sale of other potentially dangerous items, please contact Trading Standards via the Citizen’s Advice Consumer Helpline on 08454 040506.