The European Union, in a bid to become the absolute definition of a Nanny State has decided to outlaw fun by passing a law making it illegal for children 8 and under to blow up balloons. It’s not good enough just to have a choking hazard label or for parents to just not give balloons to kids that aren’t smart enough the get the concept of blowing into it (not sucking it down your throat)… we have to PASS A LAW.
Predictably, many are decrying these new guidelines — which also ban party blowers for everyone under 14 as well as those magnetic fishing games — as the government turning harmless playtime into a “danger zone,” and that it stifles an environment that encourages children to learn new skills and become more self-reliant. But sure enough, toy stores will not be able to sell these products unless they comply with the new legislation, including a requirement to print warnings on the packages. According to The Telegraph, there will also be legislation to “impose restrictions on how noisy toys, including rattles or musical instruments, are allowed to be.” Have we also mentioned that teddy bears designed for children under the age of three will have to be washable? Because of the risk of disease. (Back when I was a kid in the Dark Non-Germophobic Ages of the 1980s, this was how we strengthened our developing immune systems. That, and the mere act of “going to kindergarten” and “being forced to play with the kid who just got the chicken pox.” For the record, I am currently alive.)
Paul Nuttall, a member of the European Parliament’s consumer safety committee says:
“I would say that this is crackers but [I’m] sure children are banned from using them too. EU party poopers should not be telling families how to blow up balloons.” Seriously, what kind of parents don’t supervise their children around small, mouth-insertable things already? Even an EU spokesperson says that children have been blowing up balloons for generations, but guess what? “[N]ot anymore and they will be safer for it.” Nuttall really put it best when he called the EU “kill joys.”
British toy manufacturers are concerned that the new rules, which include defining colouring books and anything played with by under-14s, could drive up the price of Christmas presents because of the cost of safety tests.
Dammit, EU… do you want to kill Christmas? CHRISTMAAAS?
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