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New Standards for Kids' Tickets Questioned

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The Chinese Ministry of Railways decided to raise the height standards for children's tickets by increasing to ten centimeters, which aroused nationwide disputes, the Xinmin Evening News reported Monday.

The controversy mainly focuses on whether there should be a unified height standard in all places in China, and whether an age standard should replace the current height standards.

The new standards will be put into effect on December 1, 2010, the report said.

According to the standards, the upper limit of children's free tickets has been raised from 1.1 meters to 1.2 meters and the upper limit of children's half-priced tickets has been enhanced from 1.4 meters to 1.5 meters.

The standard aims to meet the changes of children's heights, the ministry said.

The average height of Chinese children has increased about six centimeters in the past 30 years. Currently in China, the average height of 6-year-old boys is 1.16 meters, and girls is 1.14 meters; and the average height of 10-year-old boys is 1.39 meters, and girls is 1.46 meters, according to the World Health Organization.

Reportedly, most places of entertainment, tourist attractions and public transportation however maintain the former height standards, but there has never been a nationally unified standard.

The Shanghai public transportation system set its height limits for free children's tickets at 1.2 meters, while the Shanghai Ocean Aquarium has a height limit of 1.4 meters, as Xinmin reported.

Many people claimed that China should adopt an age standard like most other countries do. They argue that age standards will become more reasonable and equal. Meanwhile, others, who objected to the idea, insist that the age standard would be impractical for China and the implications will bring inconveniences and high costs.

( November 2, 2010)

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