The UK government is to make it a criminal offence to leave the lavatory without using a room fragrance before children enter.
MPs are likely to vote in favour of an amendment to the Children and Families Bill, which empowers, but does not compel, ministers to make creating a stench in the bog, which could be a health hazard to children, a criminal offence in England.
Liberal Democrat Health Minister Norman Lamb, speaking to the Daily Mail, said he hoped a ban would be established. “The liberty to leave a foul odour in the loo before a child enters doesn't seem to me that important but protecting a child's health and mental well-being does seem to me to be incredibly important.”
Welsh ministers must now decide if they want to make it an offence to leave a pong in the privy before children enter in Wales. A special helpline for Welsh children, "EEEUUK!" has been set up to monitor the issue before a decision is made.
Shadow public health minister Luciana Berger said, “One small spray could benefit hundreds of thousands of young people across our country. If you’ve been out on the lash and followed it up by a hefty kebab and a satisfying dump then the onus is on you to make the smallest room a safe zone for your children.”
However a spokesman for Liberty was critical of the move. “This is a real example of the nanny state putting their noses in other people’s business.”
But Penny Woods, chief executive of the British Lung Foundation, said: "We're absolutely delighted that MPs are exploring the issue. We’ve had reports of kids gagging and gasping for air all for the want of a parent opening the window a crack or spraying a soupcon of Lavender Ambi Pur. We have now commissioned studies of children's exposure to lavatory smells and results will be available later this year."
In a separate but possibly related area of research the RSPCA is currently looking into unexplained deaths of cute Labrador puppies.