Musical toys given to Scots toddlers at centre of safety concerns

8 December 2016, 10:29

Musical instruments handed to thousands of toddlers in free Bookbug bags are being withdrawn amid safety concerns.

The wooden egg shakers were included in the Scottish Book Trust Bookbug bags which are handed to children by their health visitor when they are aged between one and two.

However, there have been some reports of egg shakers being broken due to small knots in the wooden shell becoming loose.

The Scottish Book Trust said it is removing the egg shakers from future Bookbug Toddler Bags as a "precautionary measure''.

Parents who have already received a bag with the instrument in it are advised to dispose of it if they have any concerns about its safety.

In a statement on its website, the Scottish Book Trust said: "Recent Bookbug toddler bags have included an egg shaker musical instrument to use when singing and rhyming with your toddler.

"A very small number of incidents (4 out of 45,000 distributed) have been reported to us of egg shakers being broken due to small knots in the wooden shell becoming loose.

"Although the egg shakers have passed British Safety Standard tests, and the wooden shell and beads inside are non-toxic, there are variances in the natural wooden materials and a very small number of eggs will contain knots.

"These could be problematic if they came loose whilst in a toddler's hands.''

Any bags distributed to local authorities from December 2016 will not contain the egg shakers.

Parents who choose to continue to use the instrument are advised it should only be used with adult supervision and the child should not be left unattended with it.

Marc Lambert, chief executive officer of the Scottish Book Trust, said: "We must emphasise that we have discontinued the egg shakers as a precautionary measure.

"They passed a number of rigorous tests, including the British Safety Standard tests.

"Our number one priority is the high quality of Bookbug bag items, so when a handful of these egg shakers subsequently did not meet the high standards we require, we took the precautionary measure of removing the egg shakers from future circulation and provided precautionary advice on their use.

"If parents have any questions, they should feel free to contact Scottish Book Trust directly.''

Bookbug bags are handed to children at different stages throughout their early years and contain books and items such as crayons and drawing pads.

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