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Is a Soccer Ball a ‘Choking Hazard’?

Soccer Ball
Sally Anscombe/Getty Images

The world has fallen in love with ridiculous warning labels.  You know the ones, cautioning us against using hair dryers in the shower, spraying Windex in our eyes, or not using toilet plungers around power lines (all real warnings).

Add a new one to the list: European Union officials are requiring manufacturers to stamp toy soccer balls with a choking hazard warning:

Warning! Not suitable for children under three years. Choking hazard.

That’s right, that ball which is far larger than most kids’ heads, let alone their mouths, is now a choking hazard in Europe!

One London shop owner put it best:

I sell hundreds of these balls every year, usually to parents with toddlers who are just learning to kick a ball.


Nobody has ever pointed this out to me before and obviously parents have never complained because there is no way a child could choke on something bigger than its own head.

I know a lot of people who follow or play soccer in Sioux Falls and I don’t recall anyone ever expressing concern about someone choking on a ball at a game!  You don’t think the folks in Europe know something we don’t do you?


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