Balloons could prove fatal for young children helping with party decorations, as they are a "massive choking hazard", a former paramedic turned first aid educator warns.
Nikki Jurcutz urged parents to not allow their children to blow up balloons as she claims it is "near impossible" to remove them once stuck in a child's airway.
In an online video she used a transparent tube and balloon to visually demonstrate how "normal treatment" can easily prove ineffective.
After placing the balloon inside the tube, which represents a child's airway, she begins to sharply strike the tube to simulate "back blows", the gold standard method recommended to remove choking hazards from children. Despite being "super effective" for dislodging hard food inhaled by a child, such as peanuts or grapes, the same method alarmingly only moves a deflated balloon from side to side inside a child's throat rather than ease the blockage.
Balloons are the leading cause of fatal choking
"Balloons are flimsy and once wet will stick to the wall of the airway," Ms Jurcutz said to camera, before adding, "They are the leading cause of fatal choking worldwide".
Nikki's message is simple — avoid the situation in the first place. By not allowing children to blow up balloons, or play with ones that have deflated, families can avoid the terrifying situation altogether and ensure the child's safety.
She also shares that constant supervision of children playing with balloons is optimum and the popular celebratory decoration should be binned once the party is over.
If an accident does occur and a child's airway is blocked by a balloon, Nikki urges for adults to swiftly phone an ambulance and seek medical informative from first responders.
"Balloons = choking hazard," she wrote plainly.
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