Medicine: Capsules, Oct. 9, 1972

— Soft, resilient and apparently harmless, rubber balloons seem like ideal toys for toddlers; some kids even like to nibble the knot. But balloons can also be dangerous, report three Honolulu physicians in the journal Pediatrics. Drs. Yi-Chuan Ching, J. Dempsey Huitt and George Nagao say that balloons that burst while being chewed or inflated can explode with such force that fragments of rubber may be propelled back into the mouth and windpipe, causing asphyxiation. The trio base their warning on a review of a score of fatal accidents plus their own observations...

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