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Is it me or is this not a normal play date activity?

(54 Posts)
ButterflyBitch Thu 16-May-19 20:15:31

My son has been on a play date recently where he and his friend where sucking helium out of birthday balloons. He’s not quite 10.
Is it me or if this odd?
I’ve googled and think it won’t cause harm but it’s not ideal is it? Just a bit baffled that on a normal after school play date this was one of the things they did.
I don’t know whether to mention to the mum or not that I’m not overly happy about it. confused

DontDribbleOnTheCarpet Thu 16-May-19 22:09:07

I'm sure I've heard of helium being used for suicide and the last time I saw a helium cannister there was a warning on it about not inhaling the gas.

So yeah, I'd be mentioning it and making sure my kids knew not to do it, and why.

CherryPlum Thu 16-May-19 22:09:54

I'd be quite cross and a bit perplexed as that is not a normal playdate activity at all. I did it at age 12 and I still remember how ill it made me feel, sick, dizzy, lightheaded, sweaty, I almost fainted and it was horrible.

steff13 Thu 16-May-19 22:11:28

I don't know if it's harmful but it's very wasteful.The helium is a finite resource needed for MRI scanners among other things.

How is sucking helium out of balloons wastful? If they were sucking out of a canister, ok. But that helium is already used, isn't it? The helium leaks out and the balloon "dies."

DavetheCat2001 Thu 16-May-19 22:14:45

A friend of mine committed suicide a few years back by inhaling helium.

chickywoo Thu 16-May-19 22:16:29

Its a normal kids thing to do, hes probs seen someone else do it, I've always done this and the kids find it hilarious until last year I did it in Turkey and i don't know what kind of fecking helium they use there but it was like drinking diesel!! I couldn't get the taste out of my mouth for ages and a disgusting burning smell up my nose! I'll be too scared to do it again 😐

Isadora2007 Thu 16-May-19 22:19:18

It has previously been seen as a harmless and fun thing to do but it is known to be dangerous and has caused deaths.
I wouldn’t be allowing my child to do this- though it’s not a normal thing to do on a play date (are they even called this age 10?) it’s not abnormal either...

Hecateh Thu 16-May-19 22:20:57

The only reason I got my kids helium balloons when they were little - so me and my friends could have some fun after. ... Until the little sods grew up enough to know about it and then there was no point buying them any more as there was never any less for us.

Solo Thu 16-May-19 22:22:37

I knew someone that committed suicide using helium too. I made my Ds promise he'd never suck it from balloons and told him why. And just because lots of posters here have done it and are fine...well, lots of people run across the road in traffic and are fine; doesn't make it a good, clever or sensible thing to do.

SpunBodgeSquarepants Thu 16-May-19 22:22:46

Well I'm 31 and still find this hilarious and will do it at any opportunity and will also make my 5yo do it too, he finds it equally as hilarious. It might make them a little lightheaded but they're hardly huffing glue.

ButterflyBitch Thu 16-May-19 22:25:13

Maybe not a play date at this age but you know what I mean. I’ve spoken to my son and I will leave it at that. Think it was just balloons but will explain I don’t want him doing it again as can be dangerous. Thanks for the replies.

FizzBuzzBangWoof Thu 16-May-19 22:28:23

I imagine the balloon was left over from a recent birthday or party rather than the host Mum bought it specially so the boys could suck helium as a special play date activity grin

Kittykat93 Thu 16-May-19 22:29:35

Honestly I had no idea you could die from this, but glad I know now.

BringItIn Thu 16-May-19 22:42:43

It's not a great idea at all. Personally I would speak to the mum (in a "you probably didn't realise this could be dangerous, i wasn't aware myself til very recently" kind of way).

goaskalice.columbia.edu/answered-questions/inhaling-helium-%E2%80%94-just-hilarious-or-health-threat

Myfoolishboatisleaning Thu 16-May-19 22:42:44

It can be dangerous, before I knew this all the kids were doing it at my dc’s birthday party. Straight from the canister. I would not do it now, but it is something kids love to do. It is very funny.

Ferii Thu 16-May-19 22:52:38

I'm a nurse, I've seen children pass out from inhaling too much helium and get a head injury from the fall. I wouldn't be happy if my child did this on a play date. I'd also not want to normalise huffing gases from balloons given the number of teenagers huffing nitrous for fun these days. As others have mentioned helium is a finite gas and used for important in medical devices so I'm never keen on people using it for recreational balloon use anyway.

AlexaAmbidextra Thu 16-May-19 23:06:44

and will also make my 5yo do it too

Really? You’ll make your child do something that has been known to cause death or injury? hmm

yermawyabas Thu 16-May-19 23:47:34

I'm mid 30s and have done this on occasion.

I nearly passed out once I inhaled so much so lesson learnt. Short bursts only and never inhale too much in one go.

Hobosno Thu 16-May-19 23:52:06

I’ve never done it, always heard it was dangerous.

IfOnlyOurEyesSawSouls Thu 16-May-19 23:53:00

@DontDribbleOnTheCarpet and @CaptainMyCaptain

The helium in balloons is different from pure helium which is more difficult to access as it has indeed been identified In suicide.

EnidButton Fri 17-May-19 00:35:44

I know two people who passed out doing this, two separate occasions. One was a huge middle aged bloke and one a 12 year old child. I don't think it's as harmless as people think it is. Listen to the nurse up thread^

EnidButton Fri 17-May-19 00:36:24

* I know of. I don't know them personally, just saw it happen.

CrispbuttyNo1 Fri 17-May-19 00:42:45

I've done plenty of daft stuff but inhaling a gas into my lungs and my bloodstream isn't among them. I wouldn't be impressed.

CrispbuttyNo1 Fri 17-May-19 00:43:32

And as for encouraging your 5yo child to do it.. Words fail me.

EugenesAxe Fri 17-May-19 00:52:18

LadyRannaldini maybe I need one too, as this is an important point being raised.

I hate the stupid obsession with helium balloons; so much exhibitionism on FB with "Check out my DD/DS whose age is three feet long and floating next to a huge pile of materialistic crap in fancy paper!"

I don't know when parents are going to realise none of this matters, compared to the lack of future they are creating for their children.

Having said all that, The Day Today Sinn Fein sketch is still hilarious.

BarbaraofSevillle Fri 17-May-19 04:36:53

Helium isn't dangerous but not getting oxygen is

This would be my fear that at some point, someone would inhale too much and pass out or worse due to lack of oxygen. Also if it's a cannister and not balloons and the gas is released in a confined space, again the reduction in oxygen concentration could be dangerous.

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