Thursday, August 23, 2012

Banning Buckyball toys?

I've toyed with the notion of buying a set of rare-earth magnetic spheres, but have been unable to justify it to myself. If I were a US citizen however that decision has been taken out of my hands - I can't buy them.

Yep it seems a government agency in that country has banned them from sale. Wow. Okay yes they can be harmful to kids if swallowed, but here's the catch - they're not being marketed to kids. There are no early-morning commercials exhorting children to pester their parents into buying these things - they're designed for adults and carry blatant warning labels regarding their non-suitability for children.

Okay once they're out of the box there are no warnings, but guess what - that's the same for a lot of other things. Take a look at all those sharp knives in your kitchen - if some random child managed to cut themselves with one of them should we ban them?

If an adult buys something that would be unsuitable or dangerous for a child it is up to them to keep it away from children; that's what all the warning labels are for. If some kid swallows a piece of your magnetic sculpture than amazingly enough that may well be your fault.

But hey if they're that dangerous; perhaps they're right there must be a whole lot of children being put in peril by these products? Or perhaps not. Out of 2,000,000 there have been 60 cases of ingestion in two year that's 3 per 100,000 and the number of fatalities... zero. So banning dogs is next on the lines as that's got a 129 per 100,000 rate. Better add skateboards to the list too with a 472 per 100,000 rate for 12-17 year olds.

The joke is this comes from second amendment toting, from my cold-dead hands America. Okay I doubt many adults leave handguns lying around for children to stumble across because they know they're dangerous, but again - warning labels. If you can't be bothered to read them and keep unsafe products away from children that's your fault not the product's, not the manufacturer's; yours!

If you ban all products that  may potentially be harmful to children when mis-used there's not going to be much left.