Girl dies after inhaling helium from birthday balloon

Eight-year-old Haifa girl collapses at home after breathing in the gas

Birthday balloons (Nati Shohat/FLASH90)
Birthday balloons (Nati Shohat/FLASH90)

An 8-year-old girl died Tuesday night, apparently after inhaling helium from a birthday balloon.

Paramedics rushed to the girl’s home in the Haifa suburb of Kiryat Ata after she collapsed there, but pronounced her dead after resuscitation attempts failed.

The child had apparently inhaled helium gas from a balloon, left over from her sister’s birthday party a week ago.

Police were investigating the circumstances of the incident.

Helium is commonly used as a party trick, particularly by teens, to give one’s voice a high, cartoonish pitch. However, experts have repeatedly warned of the dangers posed by the practice, which has been tied to numerous deaths.

Helium displaces oxygen in the body, potentially depriving vital organs of the oxygen they require. Lack of oxygen to the brain can become fatal within seconds.

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