Horrified parents have discovered a disturbing playground craze involving coloured wristbands in which children demand sexual acts from one another.
The inexpensive bracelets come in various colours representing forms of sexual activity, from kissing to full sexual intercourse.
Under the rules of the game if a band is snapped off the wrist of the wearer, the wearer must offer the physical act denoted by the colour.
One eight-year-old explained to her mother: “If they snap, I have to make a baby with a boy.”
Another mother, accountant Anna Kite, said a friend had contacted her about the bands.
“According to her son, he’d snapped a pink one from a girl’s wrist at school that day, which meant she was supposed to show him her naked chest”, she said.
“My first thought was that my daughter, Holly, had about six of the pink bands because it’s her favourite colour.
“When I questioned her, she told me what they were called, and confirmed that boys chased girls who were wearing them, and if they managed to grab hold of the band then you had to kiss them.”
When she questioned her ten-year-old son about the bands he said: “If I snap a black one, the girl has to ‘do sex’ with me.”
The cheap bands are available from various shops and cost about 75p for a pack of six.
A Facebook site set up to promote the bands asks its young members, “if you had to snap a band, which one would it be?”
Donna Heaton, 33, media manager for parenting website netmums.com, confiscated the bands from her eight-year-old son.
She said: “It’s not just the idea of young children hearing things they’re not ready for that concerns me.
“It’s also the thought that they might be bullied into doing some of the things the bands symbolise.”
Earlier this year high street chains such as WH Smith, Asda and Next were forced to remove inappropriate stationery and clothing after receiving complaints that they were not suitable for children.
Items included pink Playboy stationery from WH Smith, pink and black lacy lingerie including push-up bras designed for girls as young as nine from Asda and a T-shirt from Next bearing the slogan “So many boys, so little time”.
In August Dr Catherine White, the director of a centre for rape victims, said the sexualisation of children was putting them at risk.
She said: “When you see a little girl wearing a T-shirt with a Playboy bunny, that’s wrong isn’t it?
“I’ve seen another that said ‘Porn star in the making’.”
“Music videos are extremely influential”, she continued.
“I think it’s all subconscious and there’s a drip, drip, drip effect. It might not be one thing but all together it’s having an effect on values, on what is acceptable and not acceptable.”