Balloon Safety

When parents are concerned about their child’s safety, choking risks are high on their radar. Usually nuts, small toys, popcorn, hot dogs and grapes are their biggest worries. But one-third of choking related deaths in children result from latex balloons.⁠⠀

Especially small children are endangered. Toddlers bite into balloons, which can cause them to burst. The child gets scared and reflexively takes a breath … and small scraps of the balloon can get into the airway and end up lying on the entrance into the airway like a membrane, blocking it. ⁠⠀

Toddlers also love to put things into their mouth, including those scraps of the balloon or even uninflated balloons while trying to blow them up.⁠⠀

That’s why balloons by law must have a safety warning not to be used by children under 3 years. In some countries, the warning is even more explicit: “Choking Hazard: Children under 8 years can choke or suffocate on uninflated or broken balloons. Adult supervision required. Keep uninflated balloons from children. Discard broken balloons at once.”⁠⠀

* It’s ok to let children play with balloons but always supervise children under age 8 years if they play with uninflated balloons⁠⠀
* Collect and discard any pieces of a broken balloon as soon as it breaks⁠⠀

Posted on December 05, 2019 by Luitgard Holzleg

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