A devastated mother has warned parents about the dangers of balloons after her little boy died choking on one.
Katie Chamberlain, of Indianapolis in the US, wrote on Facebook she was feeding her nine-month-old baby boy , Justin, on May 31 and then set him down to play in the living room.
Her other children had been playing with water balloons a few days earlier.
She noticed a balloon on the floor and threw it out but did not notice a second one, shares yahoo 7.
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“My nine-month-old, while playing, found the balloon and as all babies do, stuck the new object in his mouth,” Ms Chamberlain wrote.
“I didn’t see him put it in his mouth but I looked at him and saw he was gagging so I went to him, in a hurry, hoping to retrieve whatever it was but it was too late.”
The balloon went into Justin’s airway and his lips turned blue.
She called an ambulance and tried the Heimlich manoeuvre and CPR, but nothing worked.
He was rushed to hospital but could not be saved.
The Danger for kids
Indiana University Health’s Dr Edgar Petras told ABC 8 News balloons were the most “common object” to for young children to choke on.
Ms Chamberlain wrote her little boy’s death was “all because of a stupid balloon” and warned parents to be careful with their children around the decoration.
Katie is begging parents to know CPR and be aware of the dangers.
“Proper CPR and heimlich is something all parents need to learn. In an emergency situation you only have 3 to 4 minutes. Every last second counts.
“I knew what to do and still lost my baby. I know personally I’ve always had a false since of comfort that I could help my children if they choke”, wrote Katie.
“After all how many times have I been able to grab something out of one of my kids mouth before anything bad could happen over the years? As I’m sure many if not all parents have experienced. I was still cautious with what my kids played with and what I bought as toys. I cut their food up, even for my 7 year old, and make them sit while eating too. I’m what most might call “over protective” with a lot of things.
“So when I say I had no idea just how dangerous balloons are I mean it. I knew they posed a potential choking hazard but I never knew just how hazardous. They are responsible for about 50% of choking fatalities. HALF OF ALL CHOKING FATALITIES CAUSED BY A SIMPLE BALLOON!! Believe it or not, balloons cause more childhood deaths than any other toy. And most of balloon related deaths are between the ages of 3 and 8 years.
“Like me I know many parents are clueless. Otherwise, balloon companies would be out of business. I didn’t let my kids put them in their mouth, other than to blow them up, and I NEVER let my babies play with them even being especially careful while my 2 year old played water balloons with his older brothers.
“Unfortunately, just having them around is too much risk in and of itself. In many cases there is simply not enough time to react to a balloon going in to your child’s mouth before its too late. It’s not as simple as watching them with the balloons because it can and does happen EXTREMELY fast.
“They are light weight and sticky. A deep breath in ,which who doesn’t take before blowing a balloon up, is all it takes to send it flying down your airway.”
Katie added, “It’s not worth the enormous risk for a few minutes of fun. It’s not worth the horrible guilt that you will feel if something happens to your child. Now all we have left are memories, pictures, and a few of his belongings. There is no pain greater than that of a grieving parent.”
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