Chinese parents alarmed by miniature crossbow craze

Schools across the US and Europe may have begun banning fidget spinners, but the popular children's toy has nothing on the new kid's contraption sweeping China.

The so-called toothpick crossbows were originally created to shoot out only toothpicks, as its name suggests.

Parents have called for the toys to be banned out of fears that someone will be seriously injured. Another anxious parent commented: "Our primary school is investigating into this toy and they're very unsafe".

The "toothpick crossbow" toy trend has spread "like wildfire" among primary and middle school children in China, according to the Shanghai Daily newspaper.

According to Chinese media, police are also cracking down on shops near schools selling the unsafe gadgets. Widespread parental concern is now forcing police to crack down on such shops. The metal ones cost around CN¥10.

Reacting to criticism from parents, the country's leading online platforms JD.com and Taobao.com have said they won't allow the toys to be sold any more.

The handheld crossbows can be bought in the United Kingdom on eBay and other online retailers including Amazon. Videos online demonstrate how this toy can easily pierce through cardboards, apples, meat and even soda cans. Parents are calling for the Chinese government to intervene so they don't have to find out.

"Hurry up (and ban them), pupils do not understand and are just shooting people for fun. It will cause accidents sooner or later", one parent wrote on Chinese social media site Weibo, Agence France-Presse reports.

  • Zachary Reyes