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Apple bobbing: good old fashioned for bonfire parties and Halloween, or a health and safety menace that should be banned?
According to the organisers of a Didsbury Apple Bobbing event, it is too dangerous for our children to bob apples and instead the children were furnished with a pair of chopsticks and invited to bob using chopsticks! The organisers were worried about the implications of accidents happening.
In another part of the country, a hospital eye consultant suggested children wear goggles when doing apple bobbing and that the stalks should be removed as they could poke an eye. In addition, it was advised to use bottled water as dirty water could lead to eye problems and ultimately blindness!
This does seem silly, however, the doctors in A&E do get to see some dreadful eye injuries each year. Scratches on the cornea for example made by stalks are apparently a real risk. Perhaps health and safety has a point!?
Apple bobbing dates back to the Romans. It was thought that you would see the image of your future husband or wife in the reflection of the shiny apple you picked with your teeth.
However, despite all the warnings, according to health experts, there is no risk to children's health and that common sense would rule that it was a simple game for children to enjoy rather than wrapping it up in red tape and health and safety rules.
There is little risk of infection by doing apple bobbing and it is not unsafe according to NHS Manchester. Indeed, a representative from the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health commented that there is no reason apple bobbing should be canceled due to health and safety issues.
So, go on, enjoy a spot of apple bobbing with the children this bonfire night before its banned!