I hate balloons, I would ban them if I could.

Welcome to my weekly Bad Parent blog post. A place to get those moments we all have, off our chest. Feel free to share in the comments section, if you feel the same or just have your own bad parent moment to share. No judgment, just honesty and hopefully some humour, because frankly I couldn’t survive parenting without that!

This is an older post, that I am sharing again, because I have been up to my old balloon popping tricks. My children have sussed it out, and think I am awful. Read on to find out why?


I realise this makes me sounds like some sort of life hating, bah-humbuggy Scrooge type, so I will explain, and then I may sound less so! When I worked at Great Ormond Street, I spent time in the Ear Nose and Throat surgical department, working with some very skilled ENT specialists, and we saw some amazing and ground breaking surgeries and procedures take place. But we also did run of the mill stuff like removing objects from little  ears, noses and other places, after they had been inserted or swallowed by curious children. One of the most common things we removed, other than those Lego men heads from ears, was bits of burst balloon, from airways. When a child bites or has a balloon near it’s face, and it pops, they often inhale, in shock, and then a bit of the balloon goes where it isn’t meant to go, or you have babies and toddlers who pick up random bits of burst balloon pieces and put them in their mouths and they get inhaled and go into the airway, and need removing. I remember one week, we did three procedures to remove bits of balloons from little airways, the children had been rushed in, via their local hospital, to us, because the hospital didn’t have suitable facilities to perform the procedures, and we were a specialist children’s hospital and we were always set up for foreign body removals so we could be ready and waiting in short order. I am not overly fond of balloons, anyway, they look pretty, but they don’t last long, and they pop and always make me jump out of my skin with the noise, or they deflate and look miserable. My children always fight, when they get given a balloons or balloons, and they upset Layla. She won’t go into a room, if she spies a balloon lurking, add to that, the danger they pose to young children, and you pretty much have why I don’t like them much. So, whilst they aren’t banned, and we take them home from parties and accept them as gifts, they don’t live or last long in our house, and I have been known to go round popping them, before I go to bed, and then hiding the remnants in the dustbin. There you have it, my parental, Bad Mummy confession of the week.

Balloons are also horribly bad for the environment. They don’t decompose or compost down. They pollute, and are a danger to animals if they are discarded or blown away. People who let balloons off in large numbers are on my hit list too.

My soul feels lighter now I’ve got that off my chest! I wonder if I am the only person who feels this way about balloons….?


Posted in Family Life and Parenting and tagged balloons, ENT, Great Ormond Street, parenting, safety.


  1. Hi Karen, Hi Everybody, I absolutely hate Balloons. I can´t stand the sound if my kids rub them on the floor or their clothes, i hate it when i´m working in the kitchen and every minute a balloon is landing on the sideboard. If my kids have balloons at home, every evening i´m going upstairs to their rooms and talk to them, the balloons have to go, because they know, every balloon has to go before sleeping. Mostly i take a small pencil or a pin that works best. Call me a balloon murderer, but i have to do it 🙂

  2. I dislike them from an environmental point of view (thank goodness I found the deflated helium balloon in the field before our animals did) …. and don’t get me going on those lanterns people let off … but I must admit I had never thought of them as a health risk when bitten. Just as well I used to be that mean Mummy too who rarely let the boys have balloons! #GoingGreen

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