London, Dec 26 (IANS) In a bizarre rule, the European Union (EU) has said that playing with plastic toy footballs can be dangerous for children under three as they can choke on them, the Daily Mail reported.
The daily said that brightly coloured plastic balls with a circumference of 25 inches, just under the size used in the English Premier League, now come with a caution: "Warning! Not suitable for children under three years. Choking hazard."
The balls bear the CE mark, which stands for "Conformite Europeene", to show that they comply with EU legislation and are passed as meeting "harmonised levels of safety".
A shop owner from Hackney in east London said he had "no idea" that the balls now came with a health and safety warning.
"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," he said.