Caring for Our Children (CFOC)

Chapter 6: Play Areas/Playgrounds and Transportation

6.4 Toys

6.4.1 Selected Toys Balloons

Infants, toddlers, and preschool children should not be permitted to inflate balloons, suck on or put balloons in their mouths nor have access to uninflated or underinflated balloons. Children under eight should not have access to latex balloons or inflated latex objects that are treated as balloons and these objects should not be permitted in the child care facility.
Balloons are an aspiration hazard (1). The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reported eight deaths from balloon aspiration with choking between 2006 and 2008 (1). Aspiration injuries occur from latex balloons or other latex objects treated as balloons, such as inflated latex gloves. Latex gloves are commonly used in child care facilities for diaper changing, but they should not be inflated (2). When children bite inflated latex balloons or gloves, these objects may break suddenly and blow an obstructing piece of latex into the child’s airway. Exposure to latex balloons could trigger an allergic reaction in children with latex allergies.

Underinflated or uninflated balloons of all types could be chewed or sucked and pieces potentially aspirated.

Center, Early Head Start, Head Start, Large Family Child Care Home, Small Family Child Care Home
RELATED STANDARDS Inaccessibility of Toys or Objects to Children Under Three Years of Age
  1. Garland, S. 2009. Toy-related deaths and injuries, calendar year 2008. Bethesda, MD: U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
  2. American Academy of Pediatrics, Committee on Injury, Violence, and Poison Prevention. 2010. Policy statement: Prevention of choking among children. Pediatrics 125:601-7.