Bindeez toys are still available for sale through online retailers in the U.K., despite an extensive recall issued last year for serious safety concerns, the British Medical Journal reported Thursday.
The toys, sold as Aqua Dots in North America, were pulled from store shelves last November after beads in the kits contained a powerful chemical that metabolizes into a potent date-rape drug.
Tests revealed the beads, made by Hong Kong's Jssy Ltd., were coated with 1,4-butanediol, which when ingested can cause unconsciousness, seizures, drowsiness, coma and death.
Pediatricians Jane Runnacles and John Stroobant, in a letter published in the BMJ, said a seven-year-old girl was treated at University Hospital Lewisham in London after swallowing beads for a Bindeez toy she received for Christmas.
"Paramedics found her with a reduced level of consciousness, and she had a respiratory arrest requiring bag and mask ventilation," the letter said.
The child later said she swallowed about 80 beads after mistaking them for candy.
"[The toys] are still advertised on toy shop websites for purchase in the United Kingdom," the doctors said. "When we drew this to the attention of the U.K. distributor, it stated that it was not aware of this and would be launching a further investigation."
Australian officials issued a ban on Bindeez toys last November, after three children who swallowed beads fell ill over a 10-day period. At least nine children in the U.S. were sickened after ingesting the beads. No illnesses have been reported in Canada.
Toronto-based distributor Spin Master Ltd. issued a North American recall of about 4.2 million Aqua Dots toys.
In recent months, U.S. and Canadian officials have issued a series of recalls of made-in-China toys for safety problems.