Despite numerous government warnings, many balloons are still marketed to young children and, yes, even to toddlers.
Children under 8 should not blow up balloons at all, ever!
Suffocation happens when children inhale deeply to blow up the balloon and suck it into their throats. Kids chew on discarded pieces or stretch pieces over their mouths to make bubbles. Babies chew on balloons and they pop, exploding latex pieces into their throats when they gasp in response to the noise.
The problem is with the very nature of the latex used to make balloons. It forms perfectly over a child’s airway, so the Heimlich maneuver is not helpful.
Pediatricians recommend an oral sweep of the airway, but even then, the latex might be pushed deeper into the child’s airway. Talk to your doctor about balloon safety.
Join me on Facebook at Dr. Claudia McCulloch
At drclaudia.net, click on the "Ask Me" button and send me a question.