US girl, 7, killed by her birthday party balloon
Days after she turned seven, a girl from Tennessee in the United States was killed by one of her birthday balloons – a 34-inch foil balloon shaped like the number seven.
Alexandra Hope Kelly had been popping her party balloons at home on Oct 1 when she was either suffocated by the large balloon or killed by helium poisoning, said her distraught mother Channa Kelly in a Facebook post on Monday.
Mrs Kelly had been asleep at the time of the tragic accident.
“That’s what took my baby, it was her birthday balloon,” she told news outlet WAFB. “It’s hard to comprehend.”
In her post, Mrs Kelly said she had bought around 10 Roblox themed latex balloons, along with the number seven foil balloon for her daughter’s birthday party on Sept 24. Roblox is a gaming platform popular with kids.
A week after the celebration, her daughter asked to pop the party balloons.
Aware that the latex Roblox balloons were a choking hazard, Mrs Kelly sat with her daughter as the child popped them. But she “never imagined that there was a risk” with foil balloons as well.
Mrs Kelly went to bed to take a nap, leaving her daughter to pop the number seven balloon unsupervised.
She said: “I fell asleep briefly and when I woke up I found my daughter facedown on the living room floor.”
The foil balloon was around her daughter’s head, she added.
Attempts by Mrs Kelly, the police and paramedics to revive the child by cardiopulmonary resuscitation failed.
“I cried hysterically and was in utter shock and disbelief of what had just occurred, that my daughter and only child was actually gone,” she said.
The exact cause of death is unconfirmed and Mrs Kelly said she was told it may take up to six months before it is determined. But the grieving mother believes it is either suffocation or helium poisoning.
Mrs Kelly said she hoped her sharing her experience would “prevent and save the lives of other children”.
She said: “I wouldn’t want anyone else to experience the pain and devastation that the loss of a child brings.”