According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, inhaling an uninflated balloon or pieces of a broken balloon is one of the leading causes of child suffocation death. A small child can accidentally suck a balloon down her throat while trying to blow it up. Some children think it’s fun to chew on a piece of balloon or to stretch it across their mouth and suck in or blow bubbles, but the balloon can easily be sucked into their airway. Because balloons mold to the contours of the throat and adhere, they can quickly cause suffocation. Carefully follow these safety rules concerning balloons:
- Do not allow a child under 6 years old to blow up a balloon. Always blow it up for them.
- Always supervise children under 6 when they are playing with balloons.
- When the child is old enough to understand, warn them of the danger of sucking or chewing on balloons.
- Keep balloons safely out of reach, and be sure to pickup and safely dispose of all the pieces of broken balloons.