A 7-year-old girl from Tennessee has died after suffocating on a balloon she got for her birthday. Alexandra Kelly’s mother Channa Kelly is warning others about the dangers of celebratory decoration.
In a Facebook post, the grieving mother said that she bought a large rainbow number 7 balloon inflated with helium and approximately 10 Roblox-themed latex balloons for her 7-year-old daughter on September 24.
Mrs Kelly wrote, “As a parent, I was always aware of the choking hazard of latex balloons, but never imagined that there was such a risk regarding these very large Mylar helium-filled balloons.”
A week after her birthday, Alexandra popped all of her latex balloons. She further wrote that she went to lie down in her bedroom “unaware of any dangers with [the non-latex] balloon,” while her daughter played, when she walked back into the living room she found Alexandra face down on the floor and unresponsive with the Mylar balloon over her head.
“I thought for a second that she fell asleep but then noticed [that the] balloon was around her head. I quickly removed the balloon, called 911 and began CPR right away. I asked the 911 operators to remind me of the steps of CPR because it had been so long since my last certification and I didn’t want to mess up,” she added.
Police and medics arrived moments later but their attempts to revive her were unsuccessful.
“On Sunday, October 1st my entire world collapsed around me all because I was unaware of the risk surrounding these types of balloons. It is unknown whether she passed away from helium poisoning or suffocation. We are currently awaiting the preliminary results for the final determination of her cause of death. I was told that this could take up to 4 to 6 months,” she said.
The Clinton Police Department is currently investigating the cause of death.
According to US Consumer Product Safety Commission data, balloons are the number one cause of child deaths by suffocation out of all children’s products.