New European labelling laws, due to come into effect next month, are likely to 'ruin childhood for millions' says children's charity 'Action for Children'.
'When we were kids, life was so much simpler,' said Dame Clare Tickell, Chief Executive of the charity. 'These new regulations mean that children won't even be allowed to build a 'tree house' any more. They'll have to make a 'raised non-residentary tree-based false-floor dwelling'. Just the word 'raised' means they will be forced to wear a hard hat before going within three metres of it. And to make it even worse, once it becomes classified as having a false floor, building regulations come into effect and they'll have to install flammable gas testing equipment and radon detectors. It's ridiculous.'
The first stages of the new legislation, preventing the manufacture or sale of products aimed at children without approved labelling, came into effect last year. Classic children's toys were completely renamed, so that products such as the former 'hula hoop' had to be renamed as a 'formed-plastic bodily rotation ring'. Sales of KP's synonymous potato-based snack product were said to be 'irreparably harmed' by the move.
'Extending the rules to apply to all products, whether mass-manufactured or created elsewhere, is simply going to cause a huge headache for both schools and parents alike,' said Dame Tickell. 'Children aren't going to be able to make a mother's day card at school any more, and I doubt many parents will approve of the new moniker -- 'crappily-glued shoddily-written folded-board representing over-commercialised non-religious celebration' really doesn't roll off the tongue does it.'
'I am looking forward to some of the changes though,' she quipped, 'particularly the new name for the yo-yo. I doubt any parent will be able to buy one without sniggering -- and Daily Mail readers will be outraged!'