Viewer Complains To BBC For Showing Baby Playing With Balloon

1 May 2015

Babies and balloons

I don't think any of us are fans of being told how to parent our kids. But when the BBC received a complaint after it showed a baby playing with a balloon on Strictly Come Dancing, it responded by saying it couldn't be responsible for telling parents how to do their task of raising children.

The Telegraph reports:

One viewer complained that the BBC had been “very irresponsible” in broadcasting footage of a baby, belonging to celebrity contestant Frankie Bridge, sitting with a balloon on its flagship talent show, due to the “high risk” of choking. The BBC denied it had disregarded child safety, writing back to say “it was not for the BBC to tell parents how to raise their children”. The viewer then escalated the complaint to the BBC Trust, claiming the response had been “flippant”. It has now been rejected by the Trust, which ruled it did not have a reasonable prospect of success and should not be investigation more fully.

Hmm. I know some of you were a bit dismayed when we shared a post this week about a new toy designed to turn balloons into safe items for babies and children to play with - there seemed to be some consternation over whether it's OTT to consider balloons unsafe play items.

But the Telegraph also outlines that balloons are not deemed safe to be blown up by unsupervised children under the age of eight, in case they accidentally swallow them and choke.

What do you make of this? Was the viewer right to complain, or do you think the BBC is justified in its response? And do you avoid balloons because of the risks they're deemed to pose as a potential choking hazard, or do you think that's just Health and Safety gone mad?

We'd love to hear your thoughts.

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