PORTLAND, OR. (FOX 13) - Birthdays are synonymous with cake and balloons, but a tragedy in Oregon has some people rethinking the decorations, calling them dangerous.
Mylar balloons, specifically, are being called into question after an 8-year-old girl was found dead in her bed just hours after a birthday party held at her home, KATU 2 in Oregon reports.
Her parents reportedly tucked her in at 9 p.m., and then tragedy struck when the girl’s father checked on her 20 minutes later.
"My son went in to check on her, and all he saw was a foot sticking out of her bed. Then he took the covers off and found the balloon on her head," the girl’s grandmother, Pat McGloghlon, told KATU 2. "He put her on the floor and cut the balloon off her head. He started CPR and we called 911."
Portland firefighters were there within 10 minutes, but it was too late.
Officials said the girl must have tried to suck the helium out by opening the three-foot balloon and putting it over her head.
Now, the family wants to raise awareness about the dangers of balloons.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, balloons are the leading cause of death by suffocation among children in the U.S., but most of those accidents involve deflated balloons or part of the balloon.
Officials don't believe a completely inflated one is a hazard to young children.