What to Know About Balloons

Any party or celebration is going to have some decorations, such as streamers, banners, and most of all, balloons. Latex balloons and foil balloons can be used for nearly any occasion, and some events call for hundreds of them to be used at once. Some of them have unique shapes, such as foil heart shaped balloons, or even latex heart shaped balloons in some cases. Those might be a fine idea for Valentine’s Day. Best of all, balloons are affordable and can be found in great numbers at party supply stores all over the United States. Latex balloons may come in a package of dozens, and foil balloons can often be found in grocery stores. What should a buyer know about inflating and using balloons such as heart shaped balloons or a few foil balloons?

On Latex Balloons

The idea of rubbery, inflatable balloons is older than some people might realize. Back in 1824, a certain Professor Michael Faraday invented them by fusing together the edges of two rubber sheets and filling the resulting item with air. The idea caught on, and by now, latex balloons are very common and easy to buy. But rubber is not often used to make them, since getting all that rubber means harvesting a lot of rubber trees, and that may be harmful for the natural environment. Instead, many balloon makers use latex, and a latex tree may be harvested from for decades without getting killed in the process. This makes latex much more sustainable for the natural world, and latex balloons do the job just fine. They are often a typical teardrop shape, but heart shaped balloons made of latex are also possible. These balloons may come in packets with dozens or even a hundred of them, ready to be inflated later.

These latex balloons can be filled with either air or helium. Air filled balloons are the easiest, since they can be filled up with a pump or even a person’s own breath. Air filled balloons may last for up to two weeks, though they will not float. The other option is to fill them with helium, which requires using a helium pump. Not everyone has one, but some places, such as carnivals and festivals, may involve helium filled balloons that attendees may buy. Helium filled balloons are on strings, and those strings should be either held or weighed down with something. Helium filled balloons may last for a day or two before deflating.

Foil Balloons

A foil balloon is one that is made of two foil sheets fused together at the edges, then filled up with helium. They are often found at grocery stores, and might already be filled up. If they are not, they come folded up in packages, and can be filled with a pump. Foil balloons come in a wider variety of shapes than latex ones, since the foil sheets can be cut into nearly any shape during manufacturing. Some foil balloons are shaped like numbers, or they may be square, round, or heart shaped balloons, too. Often, these foil sheets will have an image or a message stamped on them, and foil balloons are popular due to the variety of images the may have. Examples may include “happy birthday!” or “get well soon!”

Using Balloons

Balloons are a great choice of decoration for many different types of events, and basic safety should be observed, too. Latex balloons can be a choking hazard before they are inflated, so they should be kept away from children, babies, and pets. Balloons, once inflated, should be kept away from heat sources such as light bulbs, since the heat will expand the balloon’s air and cause it to pop.

A child’s birthday party is a good time for balloons, such as foil balloons with a “happy birthday” message or numbers-shaped balloons. Air-billed latex balloons can be taped to chairs or the walls, or scattered on the floor as a ball pit. A bridal shower or baby shower is also a good time for balloons, and foil balloons are common gifts for hospital patients. A high school prom, meanwhile, may include a wooden cage on the ceiling that holds hundreds of air filled balloons. Those balloons can then be released all over the dance floor.

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