HEALTH AND SAFETY
We are committed to increasing public awareness of the potential hazards associated with balloons and balloon-related products in order to reduce incidents, accidents and death. Please take a moment to read through the following to ensure you are aware of the potential hazards and advice on how to avoid them.
Helium is a natural, non-flammable, non-toxic gas. There is no ecological damage resulting from the use of helium. It can be used safely either inside or outside. However, helium is contained in heavy, pressurized cylinders.
NEVER DELIBERATELY INHALE HELIUM. IT IS AN ASPHIXIATE AND CAN CAUSE SUFFOCATION AND EVEN DEATH
- Never allow children or any unauthorised person to handle helium cylinders or to use balloon inflation equipment.
- If transporting cylinders by car, ensure that the vehicle is well ventilated and the cylinder is well secured.
- Do not travel in lifts with helium cylinders.
- Ensure cylinders are stored in well ventilated areas, away from direct heat.
- Never open the cylinder valve without fitting an inflator nozzle and then open the valve slowly.
- Always wear eye protection.
- When inflating balloons, always point the balloon and inflator nozzle away from you.
- Remember to close the cylinder to ‘off’ after use.
- Always use a trolley for moving large cylinders, even for a short distance. Never try to move them alone.
- In use, fasten the cylinder in an upright position to a secure support. Cylinders can cause serious injury if they fall over or roll onto you or someone else.
- Never use equipment which may be damaged. Under no circumstances attempt to repair any item of equipment.
Fully inflated balloons do not present a hazard to young children; however, burst balloons can be exceedingly dangerous. Once a balloon has burst, immediately throw away the pieces. Children can be tempted to chew pieces of latex or even stretch them over their mouths to blow bubbles. There is a danger of the latex being drawn into the mouth and subsequently blocking airways.
CHOKING HAZARD: Children under 8 years can choke or suffocate on uninflated or broken balloons. Adult supervision required. Keep uninflated balloons from children. Discard broken balloons at once.
Like other natural things people are allergic to such as bee stings and peanuts, latex can also cause allergic reactions ranging from minor skin irritation to anaphylaxis in a very small percentage of the population. However, latex allergy doesn’t have to mean missing out on the joy of balloons, there are now a number of non-latex balloon alternatives on the market such as foil balloons and plastic bubble balloons.
Balloon valves are inserted into the neck of latex balloons to create a seal without tying a knot. They are a great time and labour-saving device; however, being small and made of plastic, they can also present a choking hazard. Please discard immediately and responsibly when balloons have burst and do not allow children to play with an uninflated balloon fitted with a valve.
Many balloon sticks come in two pieces; a cup which the balloon attaches to and a stick which attaches to the cup. The cup is fairly small and may present a choking hazard should it become loose. If balloons are to be given to children on sticks, we recommend buying one-piece moulded balloon sticks.