A 7-year-old girl died playing with a popped balloon. Now her heartbroken mom is warning others

“Alexandra was my world and I don’t know how I’m supposed to go on without her


The mother of a 7-year-old who died while playing with a balloon wants to warn parents about the dangers.

"Alexandra was my world and I don’t know how I’m supposed to go on without her in my life," Channa Kelly of Tennessee, tells

Kelly announced her daughter's death in an October 8 Facebook post.

Kelly explained that for Alexandra's birthday, she bought a 34-inch foil balloon, along with about 10 latex balloons.

"As a parent I was always aware of the choking hazard of latex balloons, but never imagined that there was such a risk regarding these very large Mylar helium-filled balloons," she wrote.

"A week after her birthday party, I sat with her as she popped all of her latex balloons. Alex asked if she could pop her large 7 balloon and I said that was fine," wrote Kelly. "I would have never imagined that she would have been able to fit this balloon over her head."

Kelly wrote that she went to her bedroom and fell asleep briefly.

"When I woke up I found my daughter face down on the living room floor where I had left her," she wrote. "I thought for a second that she fell asleep but then noticed the Mylar balloon was around her head."

According to Kelly, she removed the balloon, called 911 and began cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) efforts.

Channa Kelly and her late daughter Alexandra Hope Kelly. (Courtesy: Channa Kelly)

"I asked the 911 operators to remind (me) of the steps of CPR because it had been so long since my last certification and I didn’t want to mess up," she wrote. "A police officer arrived and took over CPR followed by firefighters and paramedics. They worked tirelessly to try to bring her back but their attempts to revive her were unsuccessful.

"I cried hysterically and was in utter shock and disbelief of what had just occurred, that my daughter and only child was actually gone," wrote Kelly. "On Sunday October 1, my entire world collapsed around me all because I was unaware of the risk surrounding these types of balloons. It is unknown whether she passed away from helium poisoning or suffocation. We are currently awaiting the preliminary results for the final determination of her cause of death. I was told that this could take up to 4 to 6 months."

Kelly added, "I hope and pray that this will prevent and save the life of other children. I wouldn’t want anyone else to experience the pain and devastation that the loss of a child brings."

Alexandra Hope Kelly died in a balloon-related incident, says her mother Channa Kelly of Tennessee. (Courtesy: Channa Kelly)

A representative of the Knox County Regional Forensic Center confirmed Alexandra's death to, adding that the cause of death is not yet determined.

“Alexandra Hope Kelly came into this world on September 27, 2016, making all my dreams come true. She was full of curiosity and had to ask questions about everything,” wrote Kelly. “She loved arts and crafts of all kinds, swimming at her grandparents’ pool, spending time with her cousin and friends. She was an excellent conversationalist and amazed me with her ability to understand and express herself. She put a smile on everyone’s face and brought so much joy and laughter into my life.”

Kelly opened up to about her daughter, who "liked to play silly pranks and make silly faces," she says, and whose favorite color was blue.

"I remember a couple months ago Alex was determined to learn how to whistle," she recalls. "She practiced and practiced for weeks. Finally one day at her grandparents' house she did it! My mom sent me a video. She was so excited and proud of herself. She couldn’t wait to show me at home."

Kelly says Alexandra had a dramatic flair.

"She loved to dress up and put on a show," says Kelly. "I remember the time she dressed up as Elsa ... this girl knew all the words and choreography. She did it over and over. It was the sweetest thing."

Alexandra Kelly died in her Tennessee home in a balloon-related injury. (Courtesy: Channa Kelly)

According to a report from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), three children died in a balloon-related deaths in 2020, specifically from airway obstruction.

"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 un-inflated balloons without supervision," states the CPSC in a separate warning on its website. "The CPSC does not believe that a completely inflated balloon presents a hazard to young children. If the balloon breaks, however, CPSC recommends that parents immediately collect the pieces of the broken balloon and dispose of them out of the reach of young children."

"Not only are latex balloons dangerous, but also Mylar balloons," Channa tells "These balloons are not only a choking hazard but also a suffocation and helium poisoning risk. Please, if you buy these balloons dispose of them immediately. It’s not worth the risk."

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