Children to be banned from blowing up balloons, under EU safety rules

The Telegraph, Oct. 12, 2011

The EU toy safety directive, agreed and implemented by Government, states that balloons must not be blown up by unsupervised children under the age of eight, in case they accidentally swallow them and choke.

Apparently harmless toys that children have enjoyed for decades are now regarded by EU regulators as posing an unacceptable safety risk.

Official guidance notes: “For latex balloons there must be a warning that children under eight years must be supervised and broken balloons should be discarded.” Frank Furedi, professor of sociology at the University of Kent, warned that toy safety bans were part of a trend to micro-manage children’s lives at the expense of allowing them to explore, learn and have fun through play.

Another EU official admitted that the new regulations could be difficult to understand but insisted that safety experts knew best. “You might say that small children have been blowing up balloons for generations, but not anymore and they will be safer for it,” said an official.

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