At some point, most people have sucked helium out of a balloon to make their voices squeaky and high-pitched. The seemingly harmless party trick – which is especially popular among children – has led to some serious, life-threatening illnesses, and in some cases, even death as the helium enters the lungs and deprives the body of oxygen.
Nine-year-old Tuesdai Joyner learned the dangers of this activity first-hand while at a birthday party last month. The otherwise healthy young girl joined the other children as they each took turn inhaling helium from a balloon. After her turn, Tuesdai ran over to her parents who were getting ready to leave. As she ran to her mother, she passed out, fell to the ground, and had a seizure.
PCCSF’s Dr. Allan Greissman shared Tuesdai’s story and the hidden dangers of inhaling helium exclusively with WPLG Local 10.
While Tuesdai’s case is rare, it serves as an important warning to parents on just how dangerous this activity can be. Tuesdai’s mother, Altaria Butler, would advise parents to not let their kids participate in this activity.