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Anger after toy banned

PUBLISHED: 20:30 25 April 2003 | UPDATED: 13:46 03 March 2010

SPOILSPORT Government officials have been accused of wrecking children's fun after banning a controversial toy.

Yo-Balls, which are filled with liquid attached to a piece of elastic, were sold on Ipswich streets and shops.

SPOILSPORT Government officials have been accused of wrecking children's fun after banning a controversial toy.

Yo-Balls, which are filled with liquid attached to a piece of elastic, were sold on Ipswich streets and shops.

However, they have been withdrawn after tests revealed they could cause a risk of strangulation.

Consumer affairs minister Melanie Johnson said: "This toy poses a very serious risk to children, and in light of the findings of our safety tests, I am banning their supply.

"I do not want to spoil the fun that sensible use of the toy can bring, but I cannot ignore children's safety.

"Parents whose children already own Yo-Balls should be made aware of the potential harm these toys can cause."

The action follows eight reported incidents nationwide in the last month, but one Ipswich shop believe the government has over-reacted.

Edward Voller, company operation manager for Toymaster Kingdom in Carr Street said: "It makes you wonder what is going to be banned next?

"Common sense should prevail if it is proved to be extremely dangerous but it should be a case of assessing the risk.

"The government is taking the fun out of virtually everything. I want my kids to grow up in a safe environment but the instructions on the back were the best we have seen for a long time.

"We never had any complaints about this product being unsafe."

Mr Voller has two children, Christopher, eight, and Matthew, four, and both have the toy.

He said: "There are plenty of products where the government has given safety advice but not banned it. It is a shame the enjoyment of so many has been spoilt by the actions of a few."

The Yo-Ball, which cost 99p, is the first toy to be banned for over a decade and had been very popular.

"We would have deliveries of 100 Yo-Balls at the beginning of the weekend and sold them all by the end of it," said Mr Voller. "I was recently in our store in Peterborough and kids were buying two or three at a time.

"We have never tested it ourselves but you rely on the manufacturers to do that for you. I do not want to see any kids get hurt but they love the toy."


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