When my daughter, Jennifer, graduated from elementary school, I bought her a helium-inflated balloon that had “Congratulations, Graduate!” on it. I was smiling at that same balloon this morning when I woke Jennifer up, feeling a renewed sense of pride for my daughter’s accomplishment.
Little did I know that would be the last time I would see the balloon! And never did I ever think a helium-inflated balloon I bought would be something a certain young girl would see as a way to get some laughs or some kind of kicks.
Today, a group of Jennifer’s friends came over. While they were hanging out in her room, I peeked in and noticed they had popped open her balloon. I was upset because I bought that balloon for Jennifer and it’s not like I spend money on things her friends can just destroy. For a while, I was upset over that popped balloon and let them all know I didn’t appreciate it that they destroyed something that was not theirs.
But then I became upset about something ELSE later on, when Jennifer told me WHY her friend wanted to pop open the balloon. Apparently, the girl wanted to inhale the helium!
I practically went through the roof!
I could not believe her friends wanted to do something dangerous, even stupid, like that. I gave Jennifer a VERY GOOD talking to about the dangers of inhaling helium. She told me she was the only one in the group who did not inhale the helium and I told her that was smart of her, but I was still reeling that these girls came over and decided to do something that was dangerous. I told Jennifer that I was responsible for what minors do in this house (these girls are all preteens) and that I could be sued or even arrested if something terrible happened to any of her friends in this house. I am SO GLAD none of them suffered any damage from inhaling the helium and thank God they are okay, but I knew I had to get the message across that inhaling helium is a Very Bad Thing. WHY did her friend see a helium-filled balloon and think, Gee, I think I’ll inhale some helium?? It just really troubles me. I KNOW we do stupid things when we are kids, but this kind of thing is DANGEROUS!
Granted, they were inhaling nonlethal amounts of helium and that kind of thing is usually harmless, but I did some research on the Internet and found in an article info about a girl who died after inhaling helium in a balloon. I showed it to Jennifer and she shared that with one of the friends.
I don’t mind Jennifer’s friends coming over and hanging out, but I DO mind when they do dangerous, illegal activity in my home. I won’t allow it. I only hope that more kids are educated about the dangers of inhaling helium. It’s all fun and games until someone is dead.
Here’s what I came across in my research:
Dangers of Inhaling Helium Exemplified in Oregon Tragedy
Mom warns of dangers of inhaling helium
THE DANGERS OF INHALING HELIUM FROM BALLOONS
Inhaling Helium Can Be Deadly
Is it dangerous to inhale helium?