Unsupervised children below the age of 8 may no longer blow balloons after new EU safety rules are imposed. Officials fear that balloons could be swallowed and cause choking in young children.
Agreed upon and implemented by the government, the EU toy safety directive has also banned children below the age of 14 from using party games including whistles and magnetic fishing games as their small parts or the chemicals used in making them are decreed to be very risky.
AdvertisementThe EU directive will also force manufacturers and retailers to attach safety warnings to toys hitherto regarded as harmless.
"For latex balloons there must be a warning that children under eight years must be supervised and broken balloons should be discarded," the Telegraph quoted Frank Furedi, professor of sociology at the University of Kent as saying.
"Toys and activities, such as blowing up balloons, are part and parcel of the type of children's play that helps them become independent and self-reliant.
"These bans diminish the experience, both of having fun and learning, by turning play into a danger zone with rules that stifle life and adventure for children," he stated.
As well as new rules for balloons and party whistles, the EU legislation will impose restrictions on how noisy toys, including rattles or musical instruments, are allowed to be.
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.