Beware of balloons, health department chief warns
The chief of the Department of Health has warned people of the danger of balloons, including the risk of fatality, after a case of a balloon exploding in Kanchanaburi province on December 5.
“Explosion of balloons is reported frequently, since most of balloons contain hydrogen, which is inflammable, causing balloons to be explosive if they are near heat or spark,” the department's director-general, Dr Panpimol Wipulakorn, said. “Besides, if balloons are put together, one explosion will cause others, harming people nearby or even killing them.”
Panpimol said that in addition to hydrogen, helium is used popularly in balloons. “Those who want to decorate balloons for parties should choose balloons containing helium because they are nonflammable and cannot explode,” she added.
“If people do not know what type of gas the balloon is filled with, they should avoid being near balloons for their safety,” she said. “Moreover, if gas tanks are used at parties or events, they should be maintained in good condition, placed in an open area with good ventilation.”
In addition, before moving a tank, their valves must be closed, and the movers should use a cart, not drag them, to prevent the occurrence of friction or fire.
“Balloons used for decorations in parties should be kept away from children, and popped balloons should be properly disposed of to prevent children putting them in their mouth,” the director-general warned. “Also, children should not play with balloons near their face because a balloon's explosion could cause damage to their face and eyes,” she cautioned.