A boy who had just turned four years choked to death after swallowing a balloon. Most likely, the little one was trying to inflate the balloon when the object ended up in his throat, making it difficult for him to breathe independently.

The tragedy took place last weekend in a house in Olot (Girona), Spain. The child was playing with the little brothers when he swallowed the balloon and the parents immediately took him to the hospital. The intervention of the doctors was useless: neither the Heimlich maneuver nor the tracheotomy were enough to save the child’s life. The balloon, in fact, was stuck in the trachea, well below the point where the doctors had performed the operation: the autopsy confirmed it.

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The balloons made of latex or plastic, according to pediatricians, are very dangerous for children under the age of five-six. In case of accidental ingestion, they can literally attach themselves to the respiratory tract, just like what happened to the child who died last weekend.

This is why pediatricians advise parents not to let their children play with deflated balloons, which can also be sucked up and swallowed during inflation and stuck in the throat.