Baby toy recalled over cancer risk

Zebra toy

There's an alarming recall from a number of retailers this morning. If you bought a 'Start Your Senses Zebra' baby toy, you need to return it or destroy it immediately, as it poses a cancer risk to your baby.

So what is the risk, and what can you do?

The toy

The 'Bright Start' branded toy was sold at a number of major retailers, including Tesco, Asda, Amazon, The Early Learning Centre and Mothercare. It is also sold by a number of online and eBay stores. The affected ones have a code that begins with Q and is followed by a four digit number.

It is designed for young babies, to appeal to all of their senses, so it features a rattle, teether, mirror, crinkle paper and ribbons. The toy is likely to have been chewed and sucked, because babies explore as much with their mouths as with their hands.

The risk

This makes it particularly worrying that the Daily Mail has discovered that the product contains a colour which includes the chemical 4-Aminoazobenzine - also known as Anilie Yellow. It is toxic, and poses a cancer risk, so is banned from products that may be chewed by babies.

This is a terrifying thought for parents - who spend their lives trying to shield their baby from harm, and bought a product specifically designed to help them develop, only to discover it could be harming them.

What can you do?

You wouldn't want to take any risk at all, so it's essential that you follow the advice and stop using the toy. Recalluk advises "take it away from your child IMMEDIATELY".

You can return the label to Kids II UK, the company that produces the toy, and you will get a refund. They can be contacted on 01582 816080, by emailing, or by post at: Kids II UK Ltd. 725 Capability Green Luton, Bedfordshire LU1 3LU. They say you should destroy the toy immediately.

Tesco has said that the toys can also be returned to any Tesco superstore or Extra - and that no receipt is required for the return.

Given that recalls are around 20% effective, there is also a good chance that you will come across these products second-hand. It's worth making a note to keep your eye out for this toy, so you don't accidentally pick the product up, and you can warn any second-hand retailer that the product has been recalled.

However, before you start having even more sleepless nights, it's also worth bearing in mind that the colour is likely to be well fixed into the toy, so babies have been facing a small risk from the minimal amounts they have ingested.

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