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Europe Bans Balloons for Kids Under Eight

Europe Bans Balloons for Kids Under Eight

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.


Read the whole story (The Telegraph)

Do you take any precautions when your kids play with balloons?

Image Source: maenoellefoto via Flickr / Creative Commons

Join The Conversation
RhionnaHerbert RhionnaHerbert 5 years
Banned until 8 is a bit drastic! My kids love balloons, but they never try to inflate them, I do it, and as soon as they have popped they go in the bin. I always make sure that they are supervised when they have them. My kids never had balloons under the age of 2, and so long as they are properly supervised I'll let my children play with balloons.
KristinRetallack KristinRetallack 5 years
Like Laura, I just read the whole article. To me it seems they are making laws to cover things which should be simple common sense! The new laws don't ban children from balloons, they ban children from blowing up balloons unsupervised and broken bits should be thrown away....well dah, kids should be supervised all the time anyway whether they have balloons or not, and broken balloons should go straight in the bin. Apparently common sense is no longer common. However, I do have a problem with the ages. A child older than 3 or 4 can be taugth basic safety rules such as not putting non-food items in their mouth. All it takes is some patience and direction from the adults around them. Unless the child has a developmental delay, most of the skills needed to stay safe can be taught at a young age. I know my kids knew not to bite balloons at a young age, and the knew broken balloons had to go straight in the bin by the time they were 3 or 4. And they always brought any broken toy to me or their father to see if it could be fixed or needed to be thrown out. This is not about unsafe toys, it's about parents not supervising or teaching their kids as well as they could.
LauraSiegrist LauraSiegrist 5 years
oh my word. absolutely ridiculous. you need to read the whole article (click on the link for The Telegraph). They've banned toys for kids under 14 b/c pieces might get swallowed and they might choke. Might as well ban food too, because you just can't be too careful you know!
SabrinaDrover SabrinaDrover 5 years
Our child loves them, but she is always supervised and she has never been one to put anything in her mouth......however we don't usually get the latex ones we generally stick to the foil.
ChristinaSears6925 ChristinaSears6925 5 years
I took care of a child years ago who suffered an anoxic brain injury because she inhaled a balloon.
KerryEyre KerryEyre 5 years
At first I thought 'political correctness gone mad' but then again I've always been careful with balloons around children (not just my own). They just love to put them in their mouths. I agree with Bethany, supervision is definitely required, especially with deflated balloons around.
BethanyGibson65533 BethanyGibson65533 5 years
Balloons make me nervous. Our 3 yr old is fine w them, but I've caught our 2 yr old biting them several times. We have a 9 month old also who obviously puts everything in her mouth. I can totally see how they could pose a threat. I don't think a warning on the bag is going to do anything though. Children just need to be supervised.
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