Ban the Balloon!

October 23rd, 2011 § 0 comments

The dreaded EU has struck again…

Under the rules, children under the age of eight are no longer allowed to blow up balloons, if they are unsupervised.

Teddys have to be washable, too. Not only that but ‘scratch and sniff’ has been banned because they contain, yes, chemicals!

Something has been banned because of chemicals? Yes, it’s the Daily Mail again.

Party blowers – which unscroll when blown – are categorised as unsafe for under-14s under rules governing toys that children put in their mouths. EU officials claim bits of blower could come off and cause choking. They can no longer be sold unless they pass strict new tests.

Some children’s musical instruments, such as recorders and whistles, are also banned because they may come apart and pieces of them could be swallowed.

How dare they ban toys that could come apart in childrens mouths and choke them to death. I’ve choked to death more than once as a kid. Never did me any harm. In fact I got sent to my room with a clip round the ear for being so stupid. Made me the man I am today, it did.

The Mail does add a single line which justifies this measure…

This measure follows cases where children have swallowed small magnets which have then disintegrated and pulled intestines together, causing severe injuries.

Teh Telegraph (h/t does an equally rabid report on the banning of children children being able to live life on the edge complete with a quote from an EU official that, to me at least, doesn’t read like a real quote…

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.

But in the end, balloons and shit haven’t been banned and these regs aren’t new

Several newspapers have claimed that “Brussels” has imposed new rules on the UK banning children from blowing up balloons or using party whistles. This is wholly untrue.

EU legislation on toy safety aims to protect young children from death and injury and reflects expert medical advice – and simple common sense.

Balloons and other toys placed in the mouth can and do cause death and injury.

The EU rules referred to date from 1988. They state that ballons made of latex must carry a warning to parents that children under eight years should be supervised. Stronger plastic ballons do not need to carry this warning.

They also state that all toys aimed at children under three should be large enough to prevent them being swallowed.

The Child Accident Prevention Trust says that each year, in the UK, over 15,000 children under five and a further 10,000 children aged between 5 and 14 are treated at accident and emergency units after choking. Only half these incidents involve food.

US research by the Consumer Product Safety Commission shows that ” Of all children’s products, balloons are the leading cause of suffocation death”. So similar rules exist in the US.

So what’s so unreasonable about these regs, again? Regulations that are so draconian that other countries independent of the EU have similar ones?

Oh, yeah, their ‘imposed’ on us from those bloody Europeans.


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