Safety Alert — March Issue!

balloon.jpgA dear ParentLife reader who also is a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner reminded us of the safety precautions involving balloons. The March 2010 article “Let’s Have a Party!” mentioned having balloons at a birthday party and sending them home with children as party favors. We thank this reader for updating us and want to remind parents of the dangers that balloons and balloon pieces can cause to young children.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Policy Statement (March 2010) has the following to say: “Of all children’s products, latex balloons are the leading cause of choking death, and most of these fatalities are among children younger than 6 years. Uninflated and pieces of broken latex balloons pose a particular hazard because of their ability to conform to the child’s airway and form an airtight seal.” So please guard your young children from balloons.

We apologize to our readers for not thinking through the implications of including balloons at parties. We do want to take this opportunity to get the word out to other readers so they will be aware.

Thank you for your comments! We always want to give the best health and safety information available to our readers.

 

Comments

  1. Kyle Abel says:

    Certainly, I do not want to minimize the warning or take away from those families that have lost a young child due to a latex balloon.
    That being said, I think, as is always the case, vigilance is the important word here. Parents should monitor all the toys children play with — including balloons.
    Sending balloons home with children at the end of the party shouldn’t be thought of as a bad thing. (What child doesn’t love to get a balloon — from a party or from a restaurant? Most every kid LOVES balloons!) Parents just need to keep a close watch on them — their kids & the balloons! Just make sure to throw the balloon away immediately if it pops or is deflating.

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