Balloons are fun toys to play with for people of all ages, though they can become dangerous in some circumstances.
Inflated balloons should never be put in the mouth or too near to the face. When a balloon pops, the latex material from which it is made tears and shreds, which can not only hurt if it strikes someone’s skin, but it can cause injuries such as lacerations, damage to or loss of eyesight. Depending on the air pressure inside a balloon, when a balloon pops the sound can be very loud, and, if near ones ear, can cause temporary/permanent ringing in the ear(s) and possibly temporary/permanent hearing loss.
For these reasons, I limit my balloon models to those which are not worn over the eye(s) or other parts of the face. Balloon hats are made to fit the person’s head above the ears (not over the ears).
I do not recommend balloons for children under the age of 3.
It is up to every parent to ensure their child plays safely with their balloon(s). As clearly stated on every package of balloons manufactured by Qualatex, one of the manufacturers I use: “Not suitable for children under 36 months due to potential small parts which may pose a 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.”
Balloons can pop unexpectedly as the latex weakens, is stretched, rubbed or otherwise manipulated or when there is a change in temperature or exposed to sunlight.
Popping balloons can be very upsetting to some people, especially infants, the elderly, those on certain medications or with certain health conditions, including those who are generally nervous or who are developmentally delayed.