Restaurants raise anti-kid sentiments with ban and mosquito alarm

Kids seem to be getting the short end of the breadstick lately with recent headlines pitting restaurateurs against their smallest and youngest customers.

The latest headline comes from England, where a McDonald's has drawn fire for using a high-pitched mosquito repelling alarm to deter adolescents from loitering around their entrance.

According to a report from local newspaper Kent News , a McDonald's outlet in Maidstone installed the devices following complaints from customers and staff about the number of young people congregating idly by the restaurant entrance.

The high-pitched frequency can only be heard by people under the age of 25.

A McDonald's spokesperson, meanwhile, told the publication that theirs isn't the only restaurant to be outfitted with the mosquito alarms, but further details were unavailable.

Local council members and community youth groups have spoken out against the move calling it discriminatory, especially against a demographic that faces chronic unemployment.

Meanwhile, Pennsylvanian restaurant McDain's also created a stir last week when the owner announced he was banning children under the age of six. The local story was picked up nationally, reigniting longstanding divides and widening the gulf between parents and non-parents.

In a July 20 column titled, "Should More Restaurants Ban Kids? Chefs Really Want To!" popular food writer Josh Ozersky took the bold move of sympathizing with McDain's.

"When I'm in a restaurant, and the piercing wail of an infant first registers on my brain stem, I tend to wince. My lips form an involuntary rictus; I lose all concentration and exist in a state of total sensory deprivation, like the guy in Johnny Got His Gun," he pontificated.

Ozerksy's column drew 111 comments from opinionated readers like Richard Roush, who said he's had many a meal ruined by unruly children, even before being seated.

"Please spare me the torture of an unexpected and unprompted shrill screech because some kid thinks it's fun to annoy the hell out of the adults."

Another irate reader, however, called the move heinous and tantamount to discrimination.

"This is disgusting and anyone who advocates this type of thing is a monster. As soon as you leave your house you are in a public space where anything can happen, if you don't like that stay at home, because you are not welcome out here in the real world."

To read about the mosquito alarm in Kent, visit http://www.kentnews.co.uk/news/mcdonald_s_slammed_for_using_mosquito_device_1_971068.

To read about the ban on children at McDain's, visit http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2084234,00.html#ixzz1SqRiJBcX .

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