Australian Officials Take Germophobia Too Far, Try To Ban Kids From Blowing Out Birthday Candles

Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) is going to extreme measures to prevent the spread of germs amongst children. The council has set forth some stringent, new guidelines for birthday cake etiquette at daycare centers: “Children love to blow out their candles while their friends are singing ‘Happy birthday … To prevent the spread of germs when the child blows out the candles, parents should either provide a separate cupcake, with a candle if they wish, for the birthday child and enough cupcakes for all the other children,” states the NHMRC document.

If you think this is too much, you’re not the only one. The Australian Medical Association agrees with you. “It’s normal and healthy to be exposed to a certain amount of environmental antigens that build up our immune systems. If you live in a plastic bubble you’re going to get infections [later on] that you can’t handle,” said AMA president Steve Hambleton.

I don’t have kids, but I used to work with kids and it seems completely ridiculous to ban the blowing out of birthday candles. This is something that the overprotective/OCD mother tries to do and then the kid spends years in therapy later on trying to unpack why birthdays make him or her so anxious. Imagine a whole generation of kids who can’t blow out birthday candles because of those scary germs? Good luck with that, Australia. [Time]