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Why Are Teens Inhaling Darts!?

Why are teens inhaling darts?! The risky trend is on the rise...

It's almost but too disturbing to imagine; yet, reports show that it's a growing trend that's happening more and more.

Teen boys, attempting to play darts at home with friends, are creating makeshift blowguns with shoddy online instructions and accidentally inhaling instead of exhaling the darts to propel them. Ouch!

Sounds like a super rare, freak accident kind of thing, right? Wrong.

According to a study published the journal Pediatrics, more and more teens are being rushed to the emergency room each month with symptoms related to faulty blowguns and improper safety precautions.

Dr. Kris Jatana, a pediatric surgeon at Nationwide Children's Hospital, said that in just three months at his hospital, three different teenage boys were treated for the same blowgun-related injuries. One report cites a 15-year-old boy who first came into the hospital complaining he'd been coughing for hours. When further pressed, he admitted that he had actually inhaled a dart accidentally and gotten it caught in his airways.

The darts, which are metallic and needle-like in shape, are obviously painful once they're lodged, and can even result in more serious injury. (NPR has an image of one X-ray, if you can stomach it.) As the study warns, "prompt treatment can result in a good outcome for the patient, but serious complications could occur, especially given the hesitance of patients to divulge what caused their symptoms."

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