Police have issued a warning to parents after finding evidence that children were taking nitrous oxide on a York field.
Officers were called to the football pitches on Sim Balk Lane last night (Tuesday, 9 June).
There they saw more than 20 youths, who ran off when they arrived.
“Worryingly, this was left behind,” the officers Tweeted.
Along with empty cans and bottles of alcohol, they found empty nitrous oxide canisters.
This can lead to some serious side effects – see below.
“Whilst we were at this report the youths appeared to be sharing balloons to inhale the nitrous oxide,” the police said.
“Parents remind your kids of the dangers of doing this whilst we are in the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Nitrous oxide – the risks
Physical health risks
It is very dangerous to inhale nitrous oxide directly from the canister, and doing it in an enclosed space is also very dangerous.
Never place a plastic bag over your head.
If you take too much nitrous oxide you risk falling unconscious and/or suffocating from the lack of oxygen. People have died this way.
Other risks include:
Dizziness, which might make you act carelessly or dangerously.
Heavy regular use of nitrous oxide can lead to a deficiency of vitamin B12 and to a form of anaemia. Severe B12 deficiency can lead to serious nerve damage, causing tingling and numbness in the fingers and toes. This can be very painful and make walking difficult.
Regular use can stop you forming white blood cells properly.
It can be hard to judge the amount to use safely. If you have too much you can end up fainting, having an accident or worse.