Hidden danger of balloons child’s birthday party: Hydrogen gas over helium
The Warning All Parents Need To Hear: Mom Reveals The Hidden Danger Of BALLOONS At A Kid’s Birthday Party (And It Has Nothing To Do With Choking)
- A mum has revealed how floating balloons can be a ‘ticking time bomb’ on birthdays
- She said some vendors use hydrogen, which is explosive, instead of helium.
- She claims her son’s birthday balloon was filled with hydrogen and exploded
A concerned mum has revealed how having floating balloons at a child’s birthday party can lead to disaster, with some decorators reportedly filling them with ‘explosive’ hydrogen to cut helium costs.
At a quarter of the price of helium, hydrogen appears to be an economical option for operators looking to improve profit margins or keep costs low for customers.
But it is not a safe alternative and it is not a general practice in the industry, since it is an extremely volatile gas.
The gas is explosive and does not need an open flame to ignite it, the friction created by children playing with it is enough.
The mother said her son’s birthday balloon ‘exploded, shaking the house’ after it was bumped and caused friction.
Tina and her family learned about helium replacement the hard way: when a handsome giant balloon blew up ‘shaking their house’.
The family had kept the balloon after their son’s seventh birthday party and had been playing with it moments before it burst.
“They tossed the balloon around like a beach ball and we even teamed up a couple of times. My son took it to the room because he wanted to pee and all of a sudden we heard a LOUD explosion and the force shook our house,” he said in a post published by Tiny Hearts Education.
“We even saw a little spark/fire along with the explosion,” he said.
His son was burned on his forearm when the balloon burst.
“We rushed over to check on him and there were bits of balloon skin everywhere. Some stuck to the ceiling and some melted onto the floor tiles. Miraculously they did not see my son’s eyes and face,” he said.
The accident left the mother and her husband confused as they understood that helium never explodes, even when exposed to fire.
“Balloons are meant to be safe and fun,” he said.
When he contacted the seller, he was told that the person who filled the balloon had “forgotten” to put a warning label on the balloons stating that they were filled with hydrogen.
‘This is too dangerous and not many people know about it. Like me, they’d assume it’s helium. Balloons are usually near cakes and lighted candles,” she said.
He added that he wasn’t making the post to embarrass sellers, but rather to warn parents to ask for helium specifically when ordering balloons.
Hydrogen can react with oxygen along with friction to create energy. The big balloon had tiny balloons inside it, which was a recipe for disaster,” he said.
The family game of hitting the balloon had caused enough friction for the explosion.
Why do most operators use helium instead of hydrogen?
Because helium is lighter than air and hydrogen is another gas lighter than air. Hydrogen is highly flammable and incredibly dangerous.
Helium, on the other hand, is inserted and cooled. Helium atoms are larger and less rapidly diffuse through a balloon and will not burn or react in any way.
It may be more expensive, but it’s much safer to store and work with and almost as light.
Why do we use helium balloons and not hydrogen balloons?
To get a floating balloon you need a gas that is as light as possible. Helium is much lighter than air. The problem is that hydrogen is explosive, and if you have kids running around with balloons that could catch fire and blow up in their faces, it can have some health and safety implications.
Source: yar party balloon specialists
‘There is no need for a spark or flame. It’s a ticking time bomb if enough friction is generated.
He said parents shouldn’t let their children play with floating balloons unless they know what gas was used to inflate them.
The woman’s post was met with surprise and appreciation by other parents.
‘Thanks for sharing. You would never know this unless you were told or worked through the articles. I hope everybody is fine. What a scare it would have been.
Some parents questioned how the supposedly common practice could be allowed.
The mother said her son was burned on the arm in the incident, but the balloon pieces missed his face and eyes.
The way you explain it, this really does sound like a practice that should be illegal!!! That is so dangerous! What if one of these filled balloons was at a party near the birthday cake and when lit with children around, this balloon would burst spraying the balloon pieces onto the children, one wrote in the post.
But others were skeptical, noting that a balloon that size, filled with hydrogen, would “burn the house down.”
‘Look at the size of the balloon. It would not be the latex balloon that is being scraped off the tiles, it would be cooked kid,” said one man.
Others told the woman to take the seller to a consumer watchdog.