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No Fun: E.U. Says Kids Shouldn’t Blow Up Balloons or Use Party Whistles

eu safety regulations, kid birthday parties, balloons

Not so fast, kid! Let’s see some ID.

“The E.U. 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.”  That’s from a Telegraph article published earlier this week which also states, “Whistle blowers, that scroll out into a a long coloured paper tongue when sounded a party favourite at family Christmas meals are now classed as unsafe for all children under 14.”

As Jezebel put it, “It’s unclear if this is a due to a choking hazard as well, or the increased chance of being throttled after unfurling the paper tube into your brother’s face for the 19th time.”  Today’s my daughter’s 6th birthday (happy birthday, baby!), and though she doesn’t have a brother, she does have a mother who hates any and all forms of party blowers/noise makers.  For some reason, parents have loved giving those in gift bags for class birthdays this year, so we’ve got a couple floating around our house.  I’m about to head in to my daughter’s classroom for her school party (the only one were having this year), and I’m feeling a bit guilty that unlike the other parents whose kids have had fall birthdays, I’m not bringing in goody bags for the class.  That’s probably just as well since they only end up filled with candy and toxic, plastic junk made in China.  (You know, choking hazards.)  My colleague Madeline suggests that instead of gift bags, moms send party-goers away with a farewell cupcake.  How about a hello cupcake?  Cuz that’s what I made for the party.  36 cupcakes.  Til 2 in the morning.  I think I’m the one who deserves a gift!

But back to the safety regulations: All balloons sold in the E.U. must now include a warning label stating that “children under eight years must be supervised and broken balloons should be discarded.”  That’s not such a bad thing – I mean, after all, it’s pretty much common sense.  Additionally, “the EU legislation will impose restrictions on how noisy toys, including rattles or musical instruments, are allowed to be,” the Telegraph reports.  I hate noisy toys, but specifically those that are battery-operated.  Regulating musical instruments?  That sounds insane.  When my daughter was an infant, my sister bought her this race car toy that was so loud and obnoxious hearing it literally made me sick, but I could shake a rattle and bang on a drum all day long.

Finally, says the Telegraph, “All teddie bears meant for children under the age of three will now have to be fully washable because EU regulators are concerned that dirty cuddly toys could spread disease and infection.”  Umm, eww?  Listen, I’m a stuffed animal washer myself, but that’s because I like things neat and tidy, not because I’m worried that Pookie Bear is going to start a pandemic.  What is this world coming to?!

Photo: Flickr

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