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Omaha officials warn of new huffing trend among teens

Posted at 6:50 PM, Nov 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-13 19:50:16-05

Lincoln police took to Facebook with a warning for parents after multiple teens stole air horns in an attempt to get high. One of those teenagers ended up in a hospital.

Omaha police and a local fire department have not reported any huffing cases from air horns, but say it is time to put the warning out.

"Just like with any of the other huffing type chemicals like spray paint, Whip-its, air horns, they all use the same type of propellant with the same type of effect with intoxication-like symptoms," said Anthony Rogers of the Bellevue Fire Department.

Rogers says air horns may be on the brink of being the next fad challenge for teenagers.

One study says nearly 20 percent of middle and high school students huffed aerosol products at some point, which Rogers says can certainly lead to death.

"Long-term it shows to have effects on brain," Rogers said. "You can get syndromes where you end up with Parkinson's disease, seizures or an inability to control muscles."

Air horns are available on the shelves at most sporting goods stores and come with a warning label on the can. When that label is ignored, the risks are high.

"It would really seem like it would be very difficult to control because people who are using it for its intended purpose want to have access," Rogers said. "But it sure seems like preteens and teenagers are getting at it pretty easily."

Rogers warns parents that are suspicious look for enclosed spaces like small rooms or cars that allow air to expand quickly.