A Choking Hazard Every Parent Should Know About

Latex balloons are the devil. At least if you have kids under the age of 8. And especially under the age of 3. Yet, I’m still guilty of letting Fia and Emmett have one while I wheel them around the grocery store. It’s hard to say “no” when the man at the counter readily hands them to my kids. But I should. And I will.

Besides food, a latex balloon is the #1 cause of choking deaths in children. Notice I didn’t just say, “choking.” I said “choking death.”

The latex can stick to the sides of their throat. And if you try and give them CPR, guess what can happen? The balloon can inflate. In their throat.

Here’s an excerpt from the Children’s Health Network website:

“Most incidents occur when children suddenly inhale a deflated balloon they have been chewing. Warn your child never to chew or suck on pieces of rubber balloons. Even teenagers have died from this freak accident. Chewing on an inflated balloon is also dangerous because it could burst.”

A friend of mine once told me about this danger and I was really careful with Emmett during the first year. But now that he’s 26 months, I kind of figured he was out of the woods. Not even close. I went to a seminar on parenting/discipline last week at Fia’s school. It had nothing to do with safety. But someone started talking about their kid’s birthday party and the instructor said to us, “If you take nothing else home tonight other than one thing, it’s this: please don’t have balloons at your kids’ birthday parties. Please don’t give your kids balloons until the age of 8.” Then she detailed why.

I just felt like I had to pass it along to all of you. And now you can pass it on, and so forth. Let’s start a no-balloon revolution for toddlers! Or just use Mylar. Those apparently are safe. But then I guess you need helium. So just think of something else. Like streamers. Or post some ideas here. Thanks all!


Pic of balloons courtesy Shutterstock

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