A recent article applauded the Atlantic City (N.J.) Medical Center and its no-balloon policy (Jan. 24, p. 44). While we join you in commending that facility, they are not the first or the only hospital to have enacted such a ban, as you suggested.
Kosair Children's Hospital in Louisville, Ky., part of the Alliant Health System, Louisville, adopted a policy prohibiting rubber and latex balloons throughout the facility in August 1987. A nationally publicized choking incident prompted our nursing staff to suggest the balloon ban, and it was formally adopted by the medical staff and board.
Like Atlantic City, Mylar balloons, which are enjoyed by children and aren't associated with choking deaths, continue to be permitted at Kosair.
Alliant Health System is dedicated to the health and safety of children. We fund and staff a four-person Office of Child Advocacy, which is actively involved in numerous children's issues, including fire safety and burn prevention education, childhood injury prevention education, and parenting training. We also have initiated a car safety seat giveaway program and a bicycle helmet giveaway program. More information on the program can be obtained from our system's public relations department.
Public relations director
Alliant Health System