Are balloons really too dangerous for young kids? While most parents we know think of them as fun, inexpensive staples for birthday parties and goody bags, a safety counsel for the European Union has just banned them, saying they are choking hazards.
We'd heard about the dangers of balloons before, but this struck as a little small-spirited, so we dug deeper. According to a 1997 article in the New York Times, latex balloons are the number two cause of choking in children. Kids can all too easily inhale them whole "while trying to inflate them" or choke on fragments of broken balloons. Both types of hazards are described in the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission's warning.
So maybe it's not so crazy after all.
Balloons sold in Europe will now be clearly labeled as safety hazards for children under the age of 8.
Do you take any precautions when your kids play with balloons?