Popped Balloons

Foreign Body

A happy celebration can suddenly turn tragic, if a popped balloon blocks the larynx. With each attempt to breath in fresh air, the balloon may be pulled deeper into the airway. A piece of a plastic bag or plastic wrap can be just as dangerous. If gentle back blows and the classic Heimlich maneuver can not unblock the airway, then a “finger sweep” might.

Between 1982 and 1995 at least six children two to nine years of age died due to balloon aspiration in Canada.[Ref:42]

Hearing a balloon “pop” should prompt someone to find and discard all the pieces right away.

Did You Know?!

The presence of older siblings in the household increases the risk for choking, possibly because toys and other objects with small parts are more likely to be present and caregiving activities, such as feeding, to be undertaken by older siblings.[Ref:44]