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Loom bands and young children – a tragedy waiting to happen?

  • I R M Bohler (a1), C Douglas (a1) and S Ansari (a1)

Abstract

Background:

There has been a surge in the popularity of loom bands amongst children in recent months. These small rubber bands, which can be woven together to make colourful bracelets and necklaces, have become the world's most popular toy. Foreign bodies in paediatric nasal and aural cavities are a common presentation to ENT units across the country. Whilst most are removed without incident, foreign bodies in nasal passages represent a potential risk for inhalation, leading to airway obstruction.

Method:

This paper reports a case series of four paediatric patients who presented with a loom band associated foreign body in the nose over a 7-day period at a district general hospital in Scotland.

Conclusion:

Although the four cases presented were resolved without the need for general anaesthetic, the ever-soaring prevalence and popularity of loom bands necessitates a degree of caution and vigilance from parents, retailers and manufacturers alike. We believe there is an urgent need for greater public awareness of their potential hazards.

Copyright

Corresponding author

Address for correspondence: Dr Iain R M Bohler, ENT Department, Monklands Hospital, Monkscourt Avenue, Airdrie ML6 OJS, Scotland, UK E-mail: iain.bohler@doctors.net.uk

References

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1A craze for ‘loom bands’. In: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-27974401 [1 November 2014]
2Loom band blinds seven-year-old boy. In: www.scottishdailyexpress.co.uk/news/uk/488092/Loom-band-blinds-seven-year-old-boy [1 November 2014]
4Parents warned about dangers of loom bands. In: http://www.bristolpost.co.uk/Parents-warned-dangers-loom-bands/story-21348776-detail/story.html [1 November 2014]
5Asif, M, Shah, SA, Khan, F, Ghani, R. Analysis of tracheobronchial foreign bodies with respect to sex, age, type and presentation. J Ayub Med Coll Abbottabad 2007;19:1315
6Passali, D, Lauriello, M, Bellussi, L, Passali, GC, Passali, FM, Gregon, D. Foreign body inhalation in children: an update. Acta Otorhinolaryngol Ital 2010;30:2732
7Shlizerman, L, Ashkenazi, D, Mazzawi, S, Rakover, Y. Foreign body aspiration in children: ten-years experience at the Ha'Emek Medical Center [in Hebrew]. Harefuah 2006;145:569–71
8Brkić, F, Umihanić, S. Tracheobronchial foreign bodies in children. Experience at ORL clinic Tuzla, 1954-2004. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol 2007;71:909–15

Keywords

Loom bands and young children – a tragedy waiting to happen?

  • I R M Bohler (a1), C Douglas (a1) and S Ansari (a1)

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