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.