An Ayrshire mum's Facebook warning has gone viral after she shared a disturbing photo of the injuries suffered by her son thanks to a popular kids' toy.
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Emma Bozner left her 3-year-old son Brooklyn playing with a slinky, while she got his nursery clothes ready, and when she returned less than a minute later she found him with the toy wrapped around his neck.
Emma revealed that the toy was "so tight around his neck" that she was unable to create a big enough gap between it and Brooklyn's skin to fit scissors through and cut him free. Eventually she did manage to cut the slinky apart (it was difficult because the inside of it was metal wire) which left her son's neck "all cut and very sore."
Emma's post has been shared over 700 times on Facebook and will come as a shock to many parents who had no idea this popular toy, which has been around for decades, could cause such harm.
Emma spoke to her local radio station WestFM about the terrifying ordeal, revealing that she initially thought Brooklyn had caught the slinky around his ear before realising it was actually wrapped around his neck three times.
She said she became "hysterical" as she struggled to unravel it with her hands, before using a kitchen knife and scissors to try to release her son, who was "getting more lifeless by the minute."
Of her decision to share her experience on Facebook, Emma said she knew most of her friends had slinky toys at home for their kids, which made her wonder how many other family homes had them too. She added that Brooklyn's slinky was part of a range of toys based on the preschool programme Paw Patrol, which was likely to make it even more popular with toddlers and young children.
The original Slinky toy was invented by naval engineer Richard James in the 1940s after he accidently knocked over a spring he was working with and watched it walk down books and shelves. In the 1970s plastic slinky toys were manufactured and marketed as a safer alternative to the original metal design, as they didn't present a hazard when inserted into electrical sockets. Today many shops and websites sell various versions of the slinky, including Amazon, Tesco and Argos.
It may be a toy that has stood the test of time but little Brooklyn's experience shows that even a "safe" plastic slinky can be dangerous.
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