Young Children Require Constant Supervision When Playing with Balloons
Children learn and development through sensorimotor play when they discover and play with objects. They engage all five senses by grasping, tasting, chewing, sucking, reaching, handling, shacking, looking and smelling objects. A child having tasted something enjoyable might reach for an object of similar size, shape or color hoping it will produce the same enjoyable taste. During this early stage children must be protected from dangerous products, objects, or items that present the risk of choking like balloons.
Balloons are a ‘toy’ that present a serious child choking risk as they account for a large number of child deaths every year. Children have been known to inhale and choke on pieces of balloons. This is because balloons, unlike hard toys, have the ability to conform to the exact shape of children’s airways. This makes it easy for them to get stuck in the throat and obstruct the child’s airway. If these objects get lodged in the trachea, they can block airflow and lead to asphyxiation.
Balloons are a dangerous choking risk for the following reasons:
- Children have a tendency to reach for balloons and put them in their mouths. Balloons usually have bright attractive colors that children find appealing;
- Rubber is a unique texture and children do not have access to it on a daily basis. Children are usually fascinated by the texture and will put it in their mouths and chew it like gum;
- Balloons are made to go into peoples’ mouths in order to blow them up. Children see this and will mimic putting a balloon in their mouth if they get a hold of one that is deflated;
- Once swallowed, a balloon conforms to the exact shape of a children’s airway and acts just like a natural diaphragm as it contracts and expands with every breath while simultaneously blocking the airway. The child is unable to exhale carbon dioxide and as a result suffocates as he or she keeps taking breaths of carbon dioxide that was just exhaled;
- Balloons are difficult to remove from the child’s mouth or throat because of their slippery rubbery texture. A finger sweep or other first aid method is usually ineffective because a wet, slippery, rubbery balloon is not easy to get a grip on when it is lodge in a child’s esophagus;
- Unlike the with foods or solid objects, Children have difficulty coughing-up a balloon. A balloon simply expands in the throat when a child tries to cough it up
Most parents assume that the caregiver they entrust with their child’s safety and wellbeing will properly care for their child. Unfortunately, accidents happen when negligent child caregivers fail to properly supervise children. Although this negligence can not be undone, a grieving parent may be able to the hold the negligent party responsible.
A negligence action can be brought against any person or business that has a duty to exercise reasonable care. Balloon choking accidents are a serious and real danger and as a result every child caregiver should know of the danger and protect against it. Children lack maturity and therefore can not be expected to fully comprehend all the hazards that surround them. As a result, children can not be responsible for their injuries. When the business or person entrusted with a child’s care (babysitter, relative, grandparent, day care, child care, school) fails to properly supervise and care for a child and that failure results in a child’s injury they can be held liable for the child’s injuries.
Aside from the supervisory aspects of keeping children safe, another huge issue is just how often toys that violate safety regulations are available for sale. Should latex balloons even be marketed to young children at all?
If a child product manufacturer, designer or retailer put an unsafe product on the market and knew or should have known the product was dangerous or defective and presented a serious risk of harm then they may be responsible for the injuries your child suffered.
Experienced Child Accidental Choking Personal Injury Attorneys
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If your child was injured or killed as a result of an accident with a balloon due to someone else’s negligence, you may have a legal claim for damages against responsible party and we can help. We’ve been representing families harmed by these incidents for decades in Southeast Massachusetts, including but not limited to Brockton, Taunton, Bridgewater, Easton, Norton, Randolph, Holbrook, Abington, Hingham, Quincy, Plymouth, Marshfield, Attleboro, Braintree, Rockland, Hanover, Duxbury, Whitman, Hanson, Halifax Middleborough, Raynham, Mansfield, Avon, Canton, Stoughton and all smaller cities and rural areas in Southern Massachusetts. We also serve the counties of Plymouth, Norfolk, and Bristol, Massachusetts.
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Our personal injury lawyers assist accident victims throughout all of Southeast Massachusetts, including but not limited to Brockton, Taunton, Bridgewater, Easton, Norton, Randolph, Holbrock, Abington, Hingham, Fall River, Dorchester, Quincy, Stoughton, Plymouth, Raynham, Mansfield, Avon, Canton, Marshfield, Attleboro, Braintree, Rockland, Hanover, Duxbury, Whitman, Hanson, Halifax, Middleborough, New Bedford, and all smaller cities and rural areas in Southern Massachusetts. We also serve the counties of Plymouth, Norfolk, Bristol, Massachusetts.