Parents are being warned to be vigilant with loom bands after two incidents involving the latest must-have craze.
The colourful toy which allows children to make bracelet by weaving lots of rubber bands together has proved popular on the playground and sold by the millions.
However, there have been reports of children tying the bands round their fingers and cutting off circulation, causing them to turn blue.
Kyle Lawrence, a seven-year-old boy from Cleethorpes in Lincolnshire, has been left blind in his left eye after his brother accidentally fired a band at him.
Dr Anne-Marie Houlder, a senior GP in Stafford, warned parents about the dangers of the bands after a boy fell asleep with one tied around his hand and his fingers turned blue.
She said: “They could be a choking hazard or cause circulatory problems if children swallow or wrap them round their fingers for any length of time. Parents need to be aware of the potential dangers if children are left unattended.”
In Gloucestershire, loom bands have not been banned for being dangerous but many schools don’t allow children to bring them in.
Anne Nolan, headteacher of Cranham Church of England Primary School, said: “The children decided they wouldn’t wear them in case they became distracted during lessons by fiddling with them. “The decision was made by the children, which was incredibly responsible and sensible of them.”
Rachel Freestone, of Ann Cam Church of England Primary School, said: “There is a strict no jewellery policy, so loom bands aren’t allowed in school.
“We haven't held an assembly on them, but our rules have nothing to do with the bands – we just don’t allow jewellery.”
Steve Savory, headteacher of Bishop’s Cleeve Primary Academy, said: “The school policy on toys is that they’re not allowed in school.
“Loom bands are treated like Pokemon cards to us. We’ll ban them if they cause problems.
“We’ve stopped allowing key stage two students to have them after difficulties they’ve suffered in losing them, borrowing them, or having them go missing.
“No one has informed us of any physical dangers, but if any were presented then we would ban them.
“We might have to do an assembly over the possible dangers they can cause.”
The Duchess of Cambridge made loom bands even more popular when she sported one at a Royal tour of New Zealand earlier this year.
She was given one as a gift by a little girl and band sales have skyrocketed by over 300 per cent since, it has been reported.
Loom bands were invented in 2011 by American Cheong Choon Ng, who has sold upwards of three million kits.