Celebrate May Day safely
People celebrate May Day in Finland with balloons, masks and wigs. These are all classified as toys and must meet the requirements in the Act on the Safety of Toys and the Safety of Toys standard (EN 71-1). Sellers are responsible for the safety of the products they sell. Consumers can increase their own safety by paying attention to warnings.
Balloons must carry a warning that children under the age of eight can choke or suffocate on uninflated or broken balloons. The package must also state that balloons should only be used under adult supervision and that uninflated and broken balloons should be kept out of the reach of children and pets. Natural rubber balloons should be labelled as such. In Finland all labels must be in Finnish and Swedish.
Blowing up a balloon is not recommended because of the danger of choking. It is safer to use a pump. Helium balloons which are inflated outside should be left a bit slack. The helium will expand indoors and could otherwise cause the balloon to burst.
If a balloon has a shiny foil surface, do not let it touch a television screen. The surface of the balloon can become charged and give someone an unpleasant shock.
According to the Safety of Toys standard, children's wigs and masks should be made of materials which do not catch fire easily. Anyone wearing a wig, mask or costume should be careful around fire or candles, however. Masks should also have sufficient breathing holes.