A tragic accident that happened on Wednesday night is raising red flags about the significant yet often forgotten danger balloons pose to small children.
KOIN reports that an 8-year-old girl from Portland, Oregon tragically died after being suffocated by a mylar balloon -- a decoration from her own birthday party.
In a parent's worst nightmare, the girl's father and grandmother, Pat McGloghlon, discovered her lying still in her bed with the balloon over her head. %shareLinks-quote="It was a big mylar balloon, it's like three-and-a-half feet tall. It was the number three. And they have different size fill holes. And the only thing we could think is that she opened it and put it over her head and she suffocated." type="quote" author="Pat McGloghlon" authordesc="Victim's grandmother" isquoteoftheday="false"%
According to CNN, the girl's father administered CPR until emergency rescue teams arrived, but she still could not be revived.
Officials peculate that the girl may have tried to suck the remaining helium out of the balloon, which may have spurred the tragic incident. as a result, her death has been deemed accidental, requiring no further investigation.
Unfortunately, this incident is far from isolated.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, balloons are linked to more suffocation deaths than any other children's product.
The organization recommends that parents and guardians do not allow children under the age of eight to play with uninflated balloons without supervision.
Dr. Alan Greene, a pediatrician based in California, offers the following tips for parents to protect their children:
If a whole object or a round portion of an object will fit into your child's mouth, watch him very closely whenever he plays with it
Never let a child play with a balloon when you are out of the room
Mylar and paper balloons are far safer than latex balloons
Stay current on Infant and Child First Aid and CPR — the life you save may be very dear to you
Ultimately, McGloghlon hopes that by sharing her granddaughter's tragic story, she can help educate other parents on this often unrecognized danger and ensure that no other families have to go through the same pain. %shareLinks-quote="Everybody just hug their kids and tell them you love them. " type="quote" author="Pat McGloghlon" authordesc="" isquoteoftheday="false"%
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