Warning over sweets that could choke children

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Trading Standards Officers have issued an alert in the Horsham district and across the county for two products which could strangle or choke young children.

They fear one or both could find their way into homes in West Sussex.

Jelly mini-cups sweets labelled ‘New Choice Tropical’ and ‘New Choice Taro’ Mini Fruity Gels have recently been found on sale in London. They contain a number of banned additives which pose a choking hazard.

“Jelly mini-cups are sold to be eaten in a single bite by squeezing the cup to force the sweet into the mouth,” said Philip Lipscomb, Trading Standards Operations Manager.

“There are several ingredients which harden the jelly and increase the risk of choking. That is why they’re banned.” He advised anyone who has these sweets not to eat them, and tell Trading Standards where they were bought.

Some children’s hats with tassels or cords that tie under the chin are also potentially dangerous. Counterfeit versions showing children’s characters such as Hello Kitty, Minions from Despicable Me, and Spongebob Squarepants have been found on sale elsewhere.

“Hats with long tassels could strangle a child if the cord gets caught, for example in playground equipment or on a bicycle,” continued Philip. “The cords on legitimate products will break when pulled too hard. However cheap copies and counterfeits won’t snap, and could become tangled around a child’s neck.”

Lionel Barnard, the County Council Cabinet Member who oversees Trading Standards, said: “Our officers will be visiting retailers in West Sussex to offer advice and deal with any counterfeit or dangerous children’s hats found. One of our top priorities is to help ensure that items on sale are safe to use.”

Anyone with information about retailers in West Sussex selling children’s hats like the brands above, and which have under-chin ties or long tassels, is asked to contact Trading Standards through the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 08454 040506.