"Thu, Mar 18, 2010 The New Paper - Squeaky voice is fun but this can kill
THESE Alvin and the Chipmunks wannabes are lucky to be alive.
They inhaled helium from a tank to produce the high-pitched, squeaky voices similar to those of some cartoon characters. What they did not know is that if your lung is filled with 100% helium, it will explode and kill instantly according to some medical practitioners!"
Lessons for me are:
1. the young will be forever curious and daring. Sometimes they are lucky and came up with innovative way to do things or live their life. Sometimes, the experiments went awry and something awful happened to them like death or permanent damages to their brain or bodies. As long as they are aware of the risk they are taking and are ready (I know you are never ready for disaster) to accept the unintended consequences and take full responsibility for it, it is fine. This is call the adventurous spirit of the young!;
2. while the young dared themselves to try such a 'funny' thing at the school, the school also acknowledged that they should have kept the two gas tanks with the helium in a secured manner. This is the least the people in authority should do and can do to prevent the young people from trying out stunts that they may not have any idea of the risk involved. Had the experiment went badly, the authority would have been blamed besides the young students. With the benefit of hindsight, such stunt should be discouraged with the risks explained as well as physical measures to ensure that such gas tanks will not be in the hands of ignorant students in the future;
3. did the medical professional overstated the dangers? I think many of the young readers may not be fully convinced. Well, in the spirit of exploration, they should go do more research on the matter without trying it out physically for a start. If they are still not convinced after the initial paper and net research, they can try it with control dosage under supervision or using a safer device to dispense the gas to achieve the 'chipmunk' voices.
It is a delicate balance to stop the young from taking risk and yet not stifle their unbridled enthusiasm to try new things!