Scary Clowns, Out of the Hospital!
This strikes me as somewhat obvious, actually. Though I've never done a rigorous study, most kids I've asked about clowns find them at the very least creepy, if not downright terrifying. (How often does the subject of clowns come up in a conversation? More often than you may think!)
Hospitals are being urged not to decorate children's wards with paintings of clowns in case they upset young patients.
State-funded research has found that in a survey of more than 250 children aged four to 16, all disliked the use of clowns in hospital decor, with even the teenagers seeing them as "scary".
A hospital clown; Children are 'scared of hospital clowns'
Ironic: children are more frightened of clowns than hospital
"Given that children and young people do not find hospitals frightening per se - and only express fear about those spaces associated with needles - this finding is somewhat ironic," said Dr Penny Curtis of Sheffield University.
Earlier this year, organisers of a music festival had to change their fancy dress circus theme after some ticket holders told them they had a phobia of clowns.
The Bestival, held on the Isle of Wight, had asked festival-goers to turn up in curly wigs and large shoes.
The fear of clowns also affects those visiting their local department-store Santa, apparently. Coulrophobia is the fear of clowns, by the way, so, if you suffer from it, do not click on this link, whatever you do.
It would be sad if hospitals no longer had pictures of clowns, added [secretary of Clowns International, Tony] Eldridge, who is also a director of the Clown Museum in London.
"We live in a world where everything is banned and it has got rather silly."
Update: Reuters picked up the story as well; I've never heard of a clown called "Blinko", though:
Bad news for Coco and Blinko -- children don't like clowns and even older kids are scared of them.
The news that will no doubt have clowns shedding tears was revealed in a poll of youngsters by researchers from the University of Sheffield who were examining how to improve the decor of hospital children's wards.