By Sarah Trezza, PA-C
While I love my job, there are times that my job reminds me all too frequently that I am, in fact, getting old. At times this happens when I see a child for a “Kindergarten Physical” and I can flash back to the moment I saw him for his first newborn visit. Recently though, I have been reminded that I, like the rest of us, am getting old when I see history repeating itself.
People always talk about how trends repeat themselves (don’t you remember the bounce back of the seventies in the late 1990’s and the awesome bellbottoms we started wearing again?!?!) An unfortunate trend has now made its way into current topics yet again. While I was growing up, there were always discussions about “huffing.” The stereotypical story was that of kids sucking the nitrous oxide out of cans of Whip Cream. Believe it or not, it is either back, or more depressingly, never left in the first place and has merely evolved.
In our neighborhood during walks my family kept noticing small blue canisters, something that might normally be seen with perhaps a paintball gun. After months of seeing these canisters (and the lack of splattered blue paint…) it became apparent that this not what we had expected. After doing some research and collecting a few of the discarded canisters, it was readily apparent that this was not a paintball canister, but a nitrous oxide container. Not only have our young ones copied all the crazy things that older generations have already done, but they have found a more efficient (and cheaper) way to do it. It’s essentially laughing gas in the shape of a little vial that you can buy from the internet legally for $2 a high. It lasts only minutes so you can go home and not draw any suspicion.
The point of this post is not to make you feel old, but to make you aware of all the new ways our children try to give us gray hair. If you do happen to see any of these cartridges, or the dispenser that often comes with them, please let us know. If anything, simply use this post as a conversation starter with your children.
Below I have posted a picture of the cartridges from an ad on Amazon, as well as a picture of the ones we found in the neighborhood and the dispenser. I also attached a link to ABC News covering a similar story.
As always, if you have any concerns about your child, please call the office at 804.794.2821 to speak with a nurse or make an appointment. That is, after all, what we are here for!