Reebok recalls bracelets after death of child

SPORTS giant Reebok has been forced to recall 145,000 metal charm bracelets in the United Kingdom after an American toddler died of lead poisoning.

The four-year-old child from Minneapolis died after swallowing a piece from one of the promotional bracelets which are given away with pairs of Children's Reebok Classic Footwear.

Parents are being urged to dispose of the heart-shaped charms which have "Reebok" engraved on one side.

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The range of trainers was available in the UK and Ireland from December 2004. An official statement for Reebok said: "The child reportedly swallowed a piece from one of the bracelets.

"Consumers should immediately take the charm bracelets away from children and dispose of the entire bracelet."

Paul Harrington, president and chief executive officer of Reebok International Ltd paid tribute to the dead child.

He said: "The entire Reebok family is saddened by the tragic death of a four-year-old child from Minnesota, whose reported cause of death was lead poisoning, and who was found to have ingested a trinket with our name on it. Personally as parents, and professionally as a brand committed to human rights and a healthy, active lifestyle for adults and youth, we extend our deepest sympathies to the child's family.

"We recognise that Reebok has an unequivocal responsibility to publicly address this tragedy and to work very hard to ensure that what might have contributed to this death never happens again.

"As president and CEO of the Reebok Brand, and the father of three young children, I am deeply saddened and greatly concerned" added Mr Harrington.