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New EU Rule: Kids Can't Blow Up Balloons

One sociologist calls it hot air
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 11, 2011 4:27 AM CDT

(Newser) – Blowing up balloons is now a bust for kids in the European Union. The popular activity is too dangerous for children under the age of 8 to do unsupervised because they may swallow and choke on the balloons, according to a new toy safety directive for the entire eurozone. Also banned? Blowing noise-makers (too dangerous for kids under 14) and playing magnetic fishing games (small, chokable parts).

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"Toys and activities, such as blowing up balloons, are part and parcel of children's play that helps them become independent and self-reliant," one sociologist complained to the Telegraph. "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." (Read more balloons stories.)

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