TRADING Standards has issued a warning to parents of young children about cartoon character bobble hats which have raised safety fears.

“These colourful, furry hats are made in China and are styled to look like Minions from Despicable Me, Angry Birds and other animal characters, said a Wiltshire trading standard spokeswoman.

“There is an extension hanging down each side of the hat with a pom-pom on the end and the hat is intended to be secured underneath the chin by passing one hanging extension through a loop in the other.

“However this design means that there is no means for the extensions to disconnect and there is the potential for strangulation.”

Trading standards officers have notified market operators throughout Wiltshire and visits have been made to ensure that any of these items are removed from sale.

So far 40 hats, priced between £5 and £10, have been seized from market stalls, mostly in Salisbury Wiltshire Council is urging members of the public who may have purchased these items to report this to trading standards on 0845 4040506 as soon as possible.