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Friday, 14 February, 2003, 20:11 GMT
Toy craze banned by school
Beyblade
Beyblades are designed to be used on the ground
A school on Merseyside has banned one of the UK's best-selling toys after fears it could cause injuries.

Birkenhead Preparatory School barred pupils from bringing in Beyblades, after claims a parent was hit in the eye with one.

Headteacher Janet Skelly said she acted purely for safety reasons and pupils at the all-boys' school had accepted the decision.

The Beyblade was the most sought-after toy for Christmas 2002 and is designed to be launched on the ground.

This is a warning to parents to keep an eye on their kids to make sure they're not using these toys in a way that could harm other people

Rospa spokesman

However, some youngsters have been deliberately pointing the toys into the air before setting them off.

Mrs Skelly told BBC News Online: "A number of parents made reports to me that there had been accidents at home, including one where a parent had been hit in the eye, after her son launched the toy off a table.

"When I watched the children playing with them in the playground in crowded situations I could see there might be an accident.

"So I decided it would be better to be safe than sorry."

Mrs Skelly said some pupils "were a bit disappointed about the ban" but they understood her reasons.

'Warning' to parents

The Beyblades, which cost Ł5.99 each and are made by Hasbro, are clipped into a plastic launcher and sent spinning by pulling a ripcord.

About three million have been sold in the UK, and can be supplied with a special "stadium" to spin them in.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (Rospa) said each school had to make its own judgement about the risk posed by toys.

A spokesman said: "This is perhaps a warning to other teachers and parents to keep an eye on their kids to make sure they're not using these toys in a way that could harm other people."

Counterfeit toys

A Hasbro spokeswoman said: "Our instructions very clearly warn against using the Beyblade outside the stadium and not to be used on elevated surfaces, only on the floor.

"We are not aware of any injuries through firing Beyblades in the air.

"There are counterfeit Beyblades in the marketplace, that do not carry the warnings or instructions that ours have."


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20 Dec 02 | England
25 Sep 02 | Business
15 Aug 01 | Wales
14 Apr 00 | Education
29 Sep 98 | UK
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