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

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 December 2014

I R M Bohler*
Department of ENT, Monklands Hospital, Airdrie, Scotland, UK
C Douglas
Department of ENT, Monklands Hospital, Airdrie, Scotland, UK
S Ansari
Department of ENT, Monklands Hospital, Airdrie, Scotland, UK
Address for correspondence: Dr Iain R M Bohler, ENT Department, Monklands Hospital, Monkscourt Avenue, Airdrie ML6 OJS, Scotland, UK E-mail:



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.


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.


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.

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Copyright © JLO (1984) Limited 2014 

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