Farewell to Mylar

Filed under: Activities: Babies, In The News, Decor, Birthdays

Shaped like trains, numbers, and stars and filled with helium, Mylar balloons have become a colorful staple at birthday parties in recent years. Unlike traditional latex balloons, Mylar balloons can last for several weeks before deflating. Latex balloons sink and shrivel up within a day of being inflated, generally. So it's understandable why they have become such a large part of the celebration industry.

Unfortunately, there is a downside to Mylar balloons too. If released, the electrically conductive inflatables can -- and do, on a regular basis, apparently -- short out power lines, causing outages and costing businesses as much as $120 million in California alone last year. And so it is that Senate Bill 1499 is making its way through various committees on its way to becoming law. If it is passed, the bill would ban the sale of helium-filled Mylar balloons.

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The Save the Balloons coalition has been formed to try and save the businesses and jobs that would be affected if the bill passes. While I do like getting the kids a decorative Mylar balloon for their birthday, I also don't like it at all when the power goes out. I suppose the best solution would be for manufacturers to come up with an alternative material that will last as long as Mylar, can be made into an equal array of shapes and, most importantly, is non-conductive.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.