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Reason Yo-Yo water balloons were banned in UK

Reason Yo-Yo water balloons were banned in UK

The toys provided hours of fun but were ultimately stripped from shelves

If you were a '90s kid, chances are you'll remember the stretchy, yo-yo-like balloons that provided hours of fun when you got home from school.

If you had siblings with one of these toys, I can also pretty much guarantee you got hit in the face with it on at least one occasion. Or maybe that's just me.

The toys were hurled across rooms, stretched, squeezed and bounced within an inch of their lives, and very rapidly ended up covered in dust, hair and God knows what else. But still, we played.

These toys are just some of those that have been lost to history as we grew up, with many simply being discarded after the string-part of the toy was finally stretching to breaking point, and others thrown away after the more curious kids decided to find out exactly what was in the centre.

What you may not know, however, is that the squishy, water-filled balloons were actually banned in the UK in the early noughties, when Busted, Gareth Gates and Christina Aguilera were in the charts and the concept of getting likes on Instagram was about as realistic as Back To The Future.

The stretchy toys were deemed dangerous to children.
UPI / Alamy Stock Photo

According to a BBC report from 2003, the ban came into place after two girls from Middlesborough ended up getting hurt when the toys wrapped around their necks.

The stretchy band of the toy was easy to tangle around objects, and so the toys were deemed dangerous and ended up facing bans across the country.

Middlesborough Borough Council was among the authorities which prevented the yo-yos from being sold in the area, with many other councils following suit after a number of other children ended up with the stretchy cords wrapped around their necks.

The Department of Trade and Industry commissioned urgent tests to determine the safety of the toys, and ultimately concluded they did not meet the Toys (Safety) Regulations.

Some young adults remember the toys being banned.

Melanie Johnson, then-Consumer Affairs Minister, explained: “It is clear this toy poses a very serious risk to children, and in light of the findings of our safety tests, I am banning their supply.

"I do not want to spoil the fun that sensible use of the toy can bring, but on balance I cannot ignore children’s safety.

“Parents whose children already own yo-balls should be made aware of the potential harm these toys can cause. They may want to consider whether this is an appropriate toy for their children to have.”

Though the toys might have provided some fun for many people, it's definitely better to be safe than sorry.

Featured Image Credit: Office Playground / YouTube /

Topics: UK News