Australia's National Health and Medical Research Council has put forth guidelines barring groups of kids from blowing out birthday candles together. The reason? They "could be puffing germs onto one another."
The guidelines suggest that any kid who feels he absolutely has to blow out candles should bring his own cupcake with a candle in it, that he can step away from the group and blow it out.
In fact, the guidelines stipulate that the birthday child should always have his or her own cupcake for this purpose.
The new rules also require children to wash their hands "with alcohol sanitizer" before and after playing in a sandbox.
Australian Medical Association President Mr. Steve Hambleton sees the new requirements as outrageous: "If someone 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?"
Hambleton alluded to the fact that kids need exposure to "a certain amount of environmental antigens" in order to build up their immune system. These new regulations may slow or hinder that build up.