CHILDREN rushing to open a summer treat found a four-inch knife blade in the box.

Jacqueline and Des Cotton, who live and work on the estate at Beningbrough Hall, bought four Chad Valley Colouring Castles for their children.

The products are flat-packed cardboard castles which children can decorate with pens and paints, and four of the couple's seven children opened the first box on Thursday afternoon.

Mrs Cotton said: "We bought them on Wednesday from Argos at Clifton Moor for the summer holidays, so the children had something to do.

"Our 12-year-old daughter took one pack straight to the bedroom to open it up with our nine, seven and six-year-olds, then she came back down with this four-inch blade and said 'this has just fallen out of the packet."

York Press:

Argos has apologised for what happened

Mrs Cotton took the blade from her daughter, and inspected the remaining packaging before allowing the children to play with it, but said the youngsters had a lucky escape.

She said: "It could've been a lot worse. I'm very lucky that my two-year-old wasn't there, as it could have been nasty if he'd gotten his paws on it.

"Argos are horrified and want us to send pictures in so we're doing that as well. They have apologised and said to write to head office explaining what's happened and send in some pictures but they didn't think it's their fault, they think the blade has come from the manufacturer themselves.

"We've just opened that one at the moment, and we're assuming it was a one-off mistake but we will be very cautious with the other ones."

A spokesman for Argos, said: "We would like to sincerely apologise to Mrs Cotton and her family for their experience when purchasing one of our products.

"As a responsible family retailer we have strict processes in place to ensure all of our products are packaged safely, so we are investigating how this isolated incident has occurred. We have apologised to Mrs Cotton and offered a gesture of goodwill."