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Keeping Inflatables Away From Small Children

Aug 17, 2007
Inflatable items can be very fun. We like to see balloons bobbing along with us, and we enjoy watching clowns twist them into various shapes. Additionally, inflatable furniture is a fun way to furnish an apartment, dorm room, or child's room. It can be fun to sit on an inflatable chair to watch a movie, and it can be intriguing to have an inflatable sofa. All of these things are great ways in which inexpensive materials can be used to give one's décor an interesting look. And the low prices of many inflatables (from balloons to furniture) make them even more desirable.

But it is important to recognize that inflatable items are not for everyone. Children, especially, should be watched carefully around inflatables. This is because they can be quite dangerous to children under the age of four, and sometimes even to older children as well.

One thing to watch out for is a latex allergy. While this is not so common when one is dealing with inflatable furniture, it is common around inflatables like balloons. For some children the latex used is deadly. This is because there is a powder that comes with latex, and if breathed in by a child who is allergic, can cause a severe reaction. Touching such objects can cause rash outbreaks on the skin. You should be careful with balloons and other latex inflatables until you have ascertained whether or not your child has an allergy.

Related to an allergy is the inhalation of fumes. Have you ever opened up a package containing an inflatable water ring or chair? There is that distinctive smell of "new plastic." If you are not careful, the fumes from this smell can cause damage to small children. Developing brain cells can be harmed. While it is unlikely to cause brain damage, it can make the child giddy or cause the child to pass out, depending upon his or her susceptibilities. Either way, risk of injury due to giddiness or to falling down as one passes out is possible.

And, of course, one has to be wary of the possibility of suffocation by inflatable items. Very small children like to put things in their mouths. It is part of exploration. They taste things to get a better sense of them. This means that there is a definite choking hazard when it comes to inflatables. And because plastic and latex do not break down, they are hard to remove from the child's airway. Children with teeth might bite off a small piece that may seem harmless at a glance, but is nevertheless large enough to block the airway. It is also important to make sure that the packaging is kept out of reach. Children can put the packaging over their heads and suffocate in that way.

Being aware of the dangers of inflatable items around children is important. In order to protect your children, you should make sure that they are old enough to use the items appropriately, and watch them carefully.
About the Author
Find out more about inflatable items, and where you can purchase them, at Inflatable Info
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