Who doesn’t like balloons? They are bright, they are cheerful, and they are fun. But are they? I have been hearing some troubling things about balloons. The March of Dimes calls balloons one of the most hazardous toys for children. Nearly half of all choking-related fatalities reported to the Consumer Product Safety Commission between 1990 and 2010 involved balloons.
According to the CPSC accidents tend to occur in one of two ways. Some children have sucked uninflated balloons into their mouths where they lodge in their airway and cause suffocation. In other cases, children have sucked in broken balloon pieces that they were playing with. Because these pieces of latex can conform to the trachea, it is difficult to expel them with the Heimlich maneuver. Latex balloons are not recommended for children under 8 years old. Mylar balloons, the shiny foil balloons are not quite as dangerous as the latex balloons, but they should still require adult supervision. Uninflated balloons should be kept from children, and broken balloons should be disposed of immediately.
Balloons are not only dangerous for children, they are dangerous for wildlife. While researching this subject, I came across a site called “Balloons Blow, Don’t Let Them Go”
https://balloonsblow.org. This is a terrifically informative site that educates everyone about the danger of both latex and mylar balloons to nature and the environment. This site also has a great section about environmentally-friendly alternatives. I think the alternatives are way more fun than single-use balloons.
The Balloons Blow, Don’t Let Them Go site really has me excited. It has so many ideas for helping the earth. We only have one Earth, and it is such a beautiful planet. It’s perfect just the way it is. I invite you to check this site out. You will be glad you did, and you will learn so much.
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“Never, never be afraid to do what’s right, especially if the well-being of a person or an animal is at stake. Society’s punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way.”
Attributed to Martin Luther King, Jr.