Child accidents

Why a simple balloon can kill a child

What child has not played with balloons? They are items that are given away in shopping malls, decorate birthday parties, are improvised water pumps in summer ... In short, they seem like harmless play and decoration items.

Well, experts in child safety and even the Spanish Association of Pediatrics in their report "Main Accidents by Age", includes balloons and balloon pieces as possible causes of choking in children. In fact, there have been cases of deaths of children by suffocation when a balloon is lodged in the airways. We tell you why a balloon can kill a child.

"You must be very careful with balloons and balloon pieces, should not take them to the mouth because they can obstruct the airway... All toys must be appropriate for their age and be approved, do not let them play with plastic bags or balloons ... Balloons are dangerous, both inflated and not inflated. "These are excerpts from a report published by the AEPED on the main accidents of children by age.

I had never stopped to think about it until I was told about a couple of cases of very big scares of children choking on balloons. Remembering, it is true that in some cases I have had to throw away balloons when I saw my children sucking them. However, he did not know the real extent of the danger.

And it may seem exaggerated but yes, a balloon can kill a child, in fact there are cases described in which a fatal outcome has occurred because the balloon was lodged in the child's respiratory tract. Latex balloons can stick to the airways and block the air intake. But how can a balloon get there?

- When a child tries to inflate one it may happen that by taking a deep breath to blow more air into the balloon, it travels backward and lodges in the throat.

- Many children chew uninflated balloons before a parent's carelessness, but if the balloon or a piece of it goes to the throat, it can get stuck and cause the child to suffocate.

- When a balloon explodes, the child can take one of the pieces and put it in your mouth to chew it, play bubble game or stretch it with your teeth. Again, if it reaches the throat it can obstruct the air intake.

When we say that a balloon can be dangerous for a child and even cause death by suffocation, we are not only referring to babies, it is the case of older children who tend to put themselves in the mouth and bite or suck what they have within reach. hand in hand, be it a marble, a pen, or a balloon.

In short, it is not about stopping decorating parties with balloons, stopping playing to make balloon twisting figures or not enjoying throwing it into the air with our children, but it is essential that never leave the child alone if he is playing with balloons or is inflating them.

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