Experts warn children not to pop balloons so they don't go deaf

Are you throwing a birthday party for your kid? You might want to think twice about those birthday balloons.

We already know blowing up a bunch of balloons can hurt your cheeks, but now it looks like the sound made once they're popped can damage your kids' ears also, according to a new study.

A couple of scientists are here to burst your bubble, telling kids not to pop their balloons.

Turns out, a balloon pop is louder than a shotgun!

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5 Simple Tips to Birthday Party Planning on a Budget
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5 Simple Tips to Birthday Party Planning on a Budget

Here are some simple tips to make a birthday wonderful and not break the bank.

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1. Balloons or Streamers to welcome the day

My sister hangs streamers in the doorway of the birthday kid's room while they are sleeping. When they wake in the morning, it is the first thing they see. Throw a few balloons around the room, so they can kickstart the fun.

Image Credit: Paul Taylor

2. Birthday Pancakes

Who needs to wait for cake? Our traditional birthday breakfast is pancakes with syrup, whipped cream, sprinkles, candles and a crusty-eyed rendition of “Happy Birthday”. Amy, our Finds editor, wakes them up with a piece of birthday cake and breakfast in bed.

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3. School Treat

Cupcakes are sooooo yesterday. Mix up the school snack. Kids love when their classmates love their birthday treat. Try ice cream sundaes — even in the winter. Keep it simple. Buy the little dixie cups of half chocolate, half vanilla. They cost a couple dollars for 12. Bring whipped cream, chocolate syrup, caramel and sprinkles in different flavors. Be sure to check with the teacher first of course. Put the cups on paper plates to collect the overflow, and don’t forget the spoons. If you are feeling a little ambitious, chocolate-covered strawberries, homemade cookies, cupcakes made in ice cream cones and doughnuts in the shape of your child’s new age are always a hit.

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4. Dinner

The birthday kid always gets to pick their favorite. My kids always opt for Grandma’s Chicken luckily because it is a snap to make. But, if they wanted duck a l’orange, I would make it for them. We break out the wine glasses and have an official non-alcoholic toast (for the kids, anyway) to another year older.

Image Credit: Tom Merton

5. Presents

Here’s my take on birthday presents: When they are old enough to understand, at about 6, I either do a nice present or a party – not both. More often than not, my kids can’t even think of something they want. The siblings make cards, we all say something we love about the birthday kid, and, if there is time, he or she gets to pick a movie.

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From morning to night, my kids feel like a king or a queen on their birthday. Then we call it a wrap! Cost: Minimal. Memories: Maxed Out!

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Two hearing experts from the University of Alberta in Canada measured the noise levels from popped balloons.

They destroyed the balloons three ways; with a pin, squishing the balloons with their hands and blowing them up until they popped on their own.

Even with hearing protection, the researcher was still spooked by the big bang because it clocked in at almost 168 decibels. That's four decibels louder than a 12-gauge shotgun going off next to someone's ear.

For comparisons sake, a jet engine flying overhead is 140 decibels and the Canadian government recommends avoiding noise levels over 140 decibels.

Even one exposure could be dangerous for both children and adults, potentially causing hearing damage.

Party on but keep the popping to a minimum.

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