According to a new toy safety directive in the European Union, unsupervised children under the age of 8 shouldn't blow up balloons because they may swallow them and choke. Furthermore, party whistles are now considered unsafe for kids younger than 14. (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.) EU regulators say the rules are meant to "prevent every parent's worst nightmare," but Frank Furedi, a professor of sociology at the University of Kent, says, the party toys help kids "become independent and self-reliant" adding, "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."
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