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ATLANTA (CBS Atlanta) — Talk about being a party pooper.
Australia has banned kids from blowing out birthday candles on cakes at childcare centers over fears of germs spreading.
The Herald Sun reports that the National Health and Research Council wants kids to bring their own cupcake with a candle to blow out instead of a shared cake.
“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 (either) enough cupcakes for all the other children … (or) a large cake that can be cut and shared,” the new guideline stated, according to the Herald Sun.
Critics say these new regulations are placing “kids in a bubble.”
“”If somebody sneezes on a cake, I probably don’t want to eat it either – but if you’re blowing out candles, how many organisms are transferred to a communal cake, for goodness’ sake?” Steve Hambleton, president of the Australian Medical Association, told the Herald Sun. “If you live in a plastic bubble you’re going to get infections that you can’t handle.”
Other new guidelines childcare centers need to follow include washing toys, doorknobs and floors every day.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta say despite flu-like-illness declining in some parts of the country, hospitalizations and deaths have risen steeply in recent weeks.
“It’s not surprising to see severity indicators increasing at this point in the season because hospitalizations and deaths typically lag behind other flu activity indicators – but the increases are visually dramatic,” Dr. Lyn Finelli of the CDC said in a press release. “The overall picture is clear. This season is severe for seniors, who are being hit hardest in terms of serious illnesses and deaths. It’s really important that these people seek care and get treated promptly.”
There have been 45 pediatric deaths related to the flu since September.