Loom bands: GP warns parents against dangers of latest playground fad

The tiny elastic bands are used to create colourful bracelets and accessories

A GP has warned parents to be “vigilant” of the latest toy craze to take over the nation’s playgrounds, which sees children create bracelets and other accessories using tiny elastic bands.

Known as loom bands, the toys have become increasingly popular with school children over the past year. Scores of Facebook pages are dedicated to the craze, and are filled with photos showcasing the myriad combinations of colours and styles the bands can be transformed into.

But a doctor and mother-of-three sparked safety concerns regarding the bands this week when she posted a photo of her son wearing the bands and losing circulation in his fingers.

The unnamed GP had sent her son to bed and checked on the sleeping child around half an hour later, to find a loom band wrapped tightly around his fore and middle fingers. She said she feared he could have lost his fingers if she had discovered the problem in the morning.

Concerned by the story, Stafford doctor Anne-Marie Holder and chair of Stafford and Surrounds Clinical Commissioning Group, told the Staffordshire Newsletter that while she did not want to be a “killjoy”, parents should be wary of the craze.

“I know these are a massive craze at the moment for children across the country. Kids obviously love playing with them but having seen the article that has hit the press, where a child had fallen asleep with some wrapped round his fingers, I would just urge parents to be vigilant.

She added: “They could be a choking hazard or cause circulatory problems if children swallow or wrap them round their fingers for any length of time. I obviously wouldn’t want to be a killjoy at all I just think parents need to be aware of the potential dangers if children are left unattended.”