Medically reviewed by Deborah Weatherspoon, Ph.D., R.N., CRNA, specialty in pain monitoring — composed by Adrienne Santos-Longhurst ~ above February 3, 2020

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You be breathing helium from a balloon, and almost as if by magic, you sound choose a cartoon chipmunk. Hilarrrious.

Harmless as it might seem, though, inhaling helium have the right to be attention — deadly, in fact. There room numerous case reports of significant injury and also even fatality caused by helium inhalation.


When friend inhale helium, it displaces oxygen. This method that together you inhale, your body is only obtaining helium.

Oxygen plays a function in every role of your body. At any time you nothing get sufficient of it, you’re placing yourself in ~ risk. Plenty of of the risks are the same as with other inhalants.

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Typically, inhaling a solitary breath that helium indigenous a balloon will have actually the desired, voice-altering effect. It might also cause a little bit of dizziness.

That said, there’s always the potential for other effects, including:

Inhaling helium from a balloon isn’t likely to cause significant health concerns or death you, however it’s not impossible. There have actually been news reports of some folks, specifically young children, dying from asphyxiation ~ inhaling helium indigenous a balloon.


The majority of serious wellness issues and also deaths concerned helium inhalation involve inhaling helium from a pressurized tank. These are the same tanks provided to fill helium balloons at events or party it is provided stores.

Tanks not only hold a lot more helium 보다 your daily party balloon, yet they also release the helium through much an ext force.

The an ext pure helium girlfriend inhale, the much longer your body is without critical oxygen. Breathing in pure helium can cause death by asphyxiation in just minutes.

Inhaling helium indigenous a pressurized tank can additionally cause a gas or waiting embolism, i m sorry is a bubble the becomes trapped in a blood vessel, impede it. The blood vessels deserve to rupture and also hemorrhage.

Finally, the helium can also enter your lungs with sufficient force to cause your lungs to rupture.


I just inhaled part — am i in danger?

If you’ve inhaled a little bit of helium indigenous a balloon and are just feeling a small fuzzy or dizzy, or have actually a mild headache, you’re probably fine. Have a seat, breath normally, and also wait that out.

If your symptoms are more severe or if you’ve shed consciousness, have actually someone take you come the nearest emergency room — better safe 보다 sorry.

If you’ve huffed helium native a pressurized container, your symptoms can be a bit an ext severe. Again, if you feel fine other than a little bit of dizziness, you probably don’t have actually anything to worry about.

Watch for symptoms that could be a authorize of more serious problems in the comes minutes and hours.

If friend or someone else experiences any of the adhering to after inhaling helium, speak to 911 right away:


So, does this average I can never obtain that high-pitched voice again?

Not necessarily, however it’s essential to remember the doing so no without risk. That said, you should definitely avoid huge balloons and pressurized tanks.

You should additionally steer clean of every helium if you have a lung or heart condition.

Stick with tiny party balloons if you must and follow these tips:

Do that sitting under in case you gain lightheaded or pass the end to reduce your hazard of injury.Make certain someone rather is with you that can assist if symptoms perform occur.Don’t let children inhale from balloons. Not just are they much more susceptible to having a bad reaction, however they’re also much more prone to inhaling components of the balloon or choking.
The bottom line

A one-off breath that helium native a tiny balloon because that a laugh is i can not qualify to it is in catastrophic, but it can reason dizziness and make you happen out.

Have a seat so you don’t have far to fall and also avoid channeling your inner munchkin through inhaling native a helium tank or giant balloon.

See more: Rings Movie Review: First You Watch It Then You Die, First You Watch It Then You Die

Even a couple of seconds there is no oxygen have the right to have severe effects.


Adrienne Santos-Longhurst is a freelance writer and also author who has written extensively on all points health and also lifestyle for much more than a decade. As soon as she’s no holed increase in she writing melted researching an write-up or off interviewing health and wellness professionals, she have the right to be discovered frolicking around her coast town with husband and dogs in tow, or splashing around the lake do the efforts to understand the stand-up paddleboard.


critical medically reviewed on February 3, 2020


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Medically the review by Deborah Weatherspoon, Ph.D., R.N., CRNA, specialty in pain management — created by Adrienne Santos-Longhurst ~ above February 3, 2020

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