Officials have issued a safety warning over a Christmas advent calendar which contains high levels of a toxic chemical said to be harmful to children.

Trading standards officers said the calendar - which contained a number of fidget toys - should not be given to children.

Tests of the toys found excessive amounts of plastic softening chemical bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), which could harm children’s health and cause possible damage to their reproductive system.

The calendar is understood to have been on sale in North Lanarkshire and is now in circulation.

The local authority for the area said the product does not identify either the manufacturer or importer and fails to meet safety regulations.

HeraldScotland: Undated handout photo issued by North Lanarkshire Council of a fidget toy advent calendar which officials have issued a safety warning over as it contains high levels of a toxic chemical said to be harmful to children. Via PA.Undated handout photo issued by North Lanarkshire Council of a fidget toy advent calendar which officials have issued a safety warning over as it contains high levels of a toxic chemical said to be harmful to children. Via PA.

“The lack of manufacturer and importer details on this calendar raised concern with our trading standards team, and testing of the product highlighted significant safety concerns,” said councillor Michael McPake, North Lanarkshire Council’s Environment and Transportation Committee convener.

“Thanks to the vigilance of our officers, we are taking action to remove these calendars from sale and I would ask the public to share this information with anyone who might have bought one of these calendars.

“Our advice is don’t open them or let children play with the toys inside, and return the calendar to the retailer where you bought it. You are entitled to a full refund.”