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Tennessee mom issues warning after 7-year-old daughter dies while playing with popped birthday balloons

Alexandra Hope, 7, died last weekend while deflating birthday balloons
7-year-old Alexandra Hope's birthday ballons apparently caused her death (WVLT)
7-year-old Alexandra Hope's birthday ballons apparently caused her death (WVLT)

CLINTON, TENNESSEE: A distraught Tennessee mother claims her 7-year-old daughter died last weekend while deflating birthday balloons. The mother has issued a warning for the other families. 

"I want people to know, so they can be aware," Channa Kelly told WVLT-TV of the suffocation dangers balloons pose to children.

Distraught mother recalls shock

(credit: Holley Gamble Funeral Home)
Kelly described her Alexandra'wonderful' child (Holley Gamble Funeral Home)

Kelly stated that she briefly left Alexandra Hope, 7, in their living room last Sunday while the girl was popping her birthday balloons, but when she returned, the girl was facedown with one of the popped mylar balloons over her head.

"That’s what took my baby, it was her birthday balloon. It’s hard to comprehend," she told the station.

Kelly remembers daughter as a 'wonderful' child

At Alexandra's funeral on Saturday, Kelly described her as "wonderful, so vivacious, independent, she loved crafts, swimming — oh, she was little fish."

Alex is survived by her mother Channa Kelly, her grandparents Todd and Mickie Kelly, her great grandparents Walt and Beth Kelly, her aunt and uncle Stephen and Kristi Kelly, her cousins Tycen, Greycen, Addycen, and Aydiah, as well as a large number of other close relatives and friends.

Family's tribute to Alexandra Hope

The family's tribute to the deceased child reads, "Alex was a loving and kindhearted little girl with a vivacious spirit. She loved to sing and dance and make her mama laugh. Her animated conversation could make anyone smile and she was wonderful to talk to. Bursting with creativity, Alex loved any arts and crafts project she could get her hands on. She attended Clinton Elementary and was in the 1st grade. Over the summers, Alex enjoyed swimming at the pool with her family and visiting the beach."

Balloons and risk to children

According to a report by WVLT, Clinton, Tennessee, police said they are looking into the death of the girl. According to the US Consumer Protection Safety, balloons are the top toy responsible for suffocation deaths in children. Uninflated balloons and balloon pieces that have been popped can also make children suffocate, as reported by Fox News.

The agency says, "Because of the danger of suffocation, the CPSC recommends that parents and guardians do not allow children under the age of eight to play with uninflated balloons without supervision."

A fully inflated balloon does not pose a risk to young children, according to the CPSC. However, if the balloon bursts, the CPSC advises parents to immediately gather the fragments and dispose of them far from the reach of small children.

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