Party Essential: Balloons?

Photo Credit: Stuart Miles

Whenever you go to plan your party you go to the party store, pick out your plates, you décor and just as you get ready to cash out you see the balloons. Beautiful arrangements in pleasing colours are enough to catch anyone’s eye. The novelty of latex balloons and helium are one people can never seem to pass up and are main addition to many holidays, parties, and celebrations. Unfortunately latex balloons aren’t all the fun they are cracked up to be.

Working part time at a party store for the past five years I have grown to love and eventually become wary of the latex balloons my store sells. Some quick statistic is that on any given Friday to Sunday, my store will blow up at least 1000 latex balloons a day, if not more. When you get into graduation season it’s way more. Over 1000 daily for two to three months. Even thinking about adding that up would be insane.

Balloons and attached ribbons let loose outside, pose a risk to wildlife. Ribbons can be caught on a leg or even accidentally swallowed. Although balloons are 100% compostable; in the 6 months it takes for it decompose an unknowing animal can easily ingest it and choke on it.

Not only do latex balloons pose a choking hazard to animals in the wild, it’s a choking hazard in your own home. I’m often taken aback when people tell me how their pets love to play with the balloons or let their babies put their mouths on the balloons. If a balloon explodes anywhere near a child or animals mouth the odds of a piece of latex being thrown into their throat is extremely likely.

Another risk that many people forget is allergies. Many people are allergic to latex which, is why they are banned in hospitals.

Still can’t resist the lure of balloons? Consider buying mylars, the foil balloons. Although more expensive they are refillable, less prone to popping, and can last weeks. Refrain from releasing any balloons outside and make sure balloons and ribbon are disposed of properly.

-Heather

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