Dangers Of Inhaling Helium From Balloons: 8-Year-Old Girl In Portland Suffocated By Birthday Balloon

By Daniel, Parent Herald March 02, 05:47 am

Birthday balloons are almost never thought of as dangerous objects. They are symbols of happy children playing around and enjoying birthday parties. The hidden dangers of inhaling helium from balloons usually do not cross the minds of most families.

An 8-year-old girl died at her home in NE 142nd Avenue and San Raphael, Northeast Portland due to suffocation by a birthday balloon, KATU 2 reports. Her name was Jaina Vue McGloghlon.

The death was an accident and no further invistigations will be done. Portland fire officials say that the girl might have attempted to suck helium from the balloon while alone but suffocated in the process.

The girl's grandmother, Pat McGloghlon, described how the child's father found the body. "My son went in to check on her and all he saw was a foot sticking out of her bed. Then he took the covers off and found the balloon on her head," McGloghlon explained to KATU 2. "He put her on the floor and cut the balloon off her head. He started CPR and we called 911."

The family is still in shock and devastated due to the tragic accident. "We all want to turn back yesterday and start over again," the grandmother added. People can donate any amount to Jaina's personal Generosity.com account created by her family.

According to Jaina's uncle, Donny, the girl's parents decided to leave Military work to have a more family-centered life with their daughter. He described his niece as having an "uncontainable spirit and giant heart" when she was alive.

So what causes the dangers of inhaling helium from balloons? It is the oxygen deprivation that results from inhaling helium that causes fainting, suffocation and death, Dr. Oz explains via Science Bob. "As you breathe in a balloon full of helium, you are not breathing in any oxygen, which your cells need -- usually we get this from the air we breathe," Dr. Oz explained.

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