Pass the pacemaker over stress at kids' parties

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LONDON, Oct 24 (Reuters) Pass the pacemaker. It's time for parents to stress out over little Billy's birthday.

A survey for sweetmakers Haribo showed that one in four mothers suffered anxiety over organising birthday parties. Eight percent admitted to tension headaches in the lead-up.

Birthday parties are being treated like military operations with parents who start planning months ahead, pollsters found.

''Forget pass the parcel, it'll be pass the pacemaker for stressed-out parents,'' said Haribo managing director Herwig Vennekens.

''Parents are fretting too much about their children's big day and forgetting what is really important,'' he added.

Back to basics works best.

Despite all the sophisticated high-tech toys on offer for 21st century children, they picked pets as their favourite birthday present.

REUTERS SG RK1616

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