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Loom rage

Has your child been possessed by the loom devil?

By Sophie Cross

Rainbow loom bands are taking over the world. Literally. They are apparently one of the most popular trends since EVER, and the money-spinner of the moment for every discount store, toyshop and street trader. They are appearing in practically every playground in the world.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have been photographed wearing them, as have David Beckham, Miley Cyrus and Harry Styles.

They are the eighth best-selling toy of all time on Amazon and a ridiculously cheap fad in comparison to XBox, DS games and other expensive computer games.

But these cheap and colourful little bands are taking over in more ways than one. Personally everywhere I look in my house and the garden I can guarantee I will find at least 20 loom bands. They get EVERYWHERE. They're down the sofas, in the floorboards, drawers, bins, dishwasher, washing machine, in the dog… MILLIONS in the vacuum cleaner.

They are the devil's craft toys and they will drive you mad. Trust me.

When my little girl first bought some, I thought: ‘Hurray! An interest that doesn't involve the TV, Internet, Xbox, iPad, iPod, iPhone, my computer etc etc… A good old fashioned craft, that just requires bands, patience dexterity and concentration!'

And so it was. For a while. Until my daughter got better at it and wanted to do more complicated designs. Then came the loom itself. The endless YouTube How To videos featuring precocious American girls giving step by step instructions to creating a loom band monkey, purse, bag or even DRESS…

Suddenly the loom thing has got way out of control and so has my daughter. It's become obsessive. Her moods equal those she gets when she's in full Minecraft / Flappy Bird meltdown.

The activity has gone from mild, creative and calming to intense, frustrating and possessed. She is possessed by the Loom devil.

Last night said daughter was trying to make a loom band monkey. She'd been at it for hours. Twisting and pulling and fiddling. She suddenly let out a loud cry. The crappy plastic loom had snapped. Some bands were coming loose. It WASN'T GOING TO WORK!!! Disaster. She had to rectify before it all fell to pieces. She couldn't eat her dinner until it was done. An hour later, a tearful little girl took her bands apart, admitted defeat and ate her dinner. Loom band frenzy over. But I have to say I am not monitoring loom band activity. And limiting it.

Now I no longer have to issue screen bans, but loom band bans. Who'd have thought it?!

Serious warnings:

While they are fairly innocuous loom bans can actually be a bit dangerous in the wrong hands. They can be choking hazard for small children and pets and most loom products have an 8 years or over warning on them.

In the UK, parents have been warned to check their children when they go to bed, after it was reported that one child was close to losing his fingers as he fell asleep with one of the bands wrapped around his fingers but the parent of the child went in to check on him half an hour after lights out and removed them in time to restore the blood flow as the fingers turned blue.

A flying loom band that had pinged off a loom has also apparently caused irreparable damage and a six-day hospital stay to a seven-year-old boy.

But apart from the physical dangers, there are clearly some psychological issues for both kids and their parents that come along with any obsessive, fiddly and exasperating activity! We probably went through it ourselves with Rubik's cubes!

So beware loom bands. They could take over your house and your child! Overuse has serious consequences!!!
Sophie Cross is a public relations consultant and writer who has publicised and written about everything from makeup to The Muppets, child care to celebrity chefs and perfume to Partners in Population and Development! Originally from the UK and as a languages graduate she has worked around the world, living in Australia for the last 11 years where she runs, PR Chicks. Read Sophie's blog
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