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Home » Is Laughing Gas Safe for Kids? Exploring the Benefits and Risks

Is Laughing Gas Safe for Kids? Exploring the Benefits and Risks

is laughing gas safe for kids

Is laughing gas safe for kids? This is one of the frequently questions asked by parents just to ensure that their children safe when nitrous oxide is being administered to them. So in this article, we’ll be exploring the benefits and nitrous oxide child side effects.


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When it comes to pediatric dental procedures or minor surgeries, parents often find themselves seeking answers to ensure their child’s safety and comfort. Nitrous oxide is popularly used which is also known as laughing gas. This gas doesn’t have any odor and color and it has been used as a mild sedative and pain reliever in medical settings for over a century.

However, before parents consider its usage for their kids, it’s very important to go deeper into this topic and find out whether laughing gas is truly safe for kids.

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Like I said in the beginning of this article, we will explore the benefits and nitrous oxide child side effects/potential risks associated with administering laughing gas to children, it will definitely help you make informed decisions.

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Is Laughing Gas Safe for Kids?

laughing gas safe for kids

Now, below is a quick answer to this question:

Yes, laughing gas is generally considered safe for kids when it’s being administered by trained professionals in appropriate doses. It is usually used in treatment of children to minimize fear and discomfort during dental procedures. However, just like any medical issues, there can be some potential risks and side effects involved,  it’s recommended for you as parents to discuss the use of laughing gas with healthcare provider of your child.

Before I proceed, let’s see what a laughing gas actually is for a better understanding of this article.

What is a Laughing Gas?

Laughing gas, also known as nitrous oxide, is a gentle gas that helps kids to feel relaxed and less anxious during medical procedures like going to the dentist or having a small surgery. It is being administered to children through a mask they wear on their nose, and there is no smell or color present in it. Laughing gas makes kids feel more comfortable and helps reduce any pain they might feel during the procedure. Generally, It’s safe to use and the effects wear off quickly, so children can go back to their regular activities soon after.

Now that you’ve know exactly what a laughing gas is, let me go straight and show you some of the potential risks and nitrous oxide child side effects. After that, I’ll also show you some of the benefits, so let’s go there.

Side Effects/Potential Risks of Laughing Gas

nitrous oxide child side effects

nitrous oxide child side effects

  • Nausea

Some kids may experience an urge to vomit after inhaling laughing gas, although this is typically temporary and stop quickly.

  • Actual Vomiting

This is usually in rare cases, actual vomiting can be caused by laughing gas, it can be managed by monitoring the child closely and providing appropriate care if it happens.

  • It can cause Dizziness

Laughing gas can cause a feeling of dizziness, but this sensation is only for short time and goes off gradually as the effects of the gas wear off.

  • Headache

Children can experience headaches but usually a rare side effect of laughing gas, although they tend to be calm and does not last for a longer period.

  • Tiredness

Some kids may feel some form of tiredness or weakness after the laughing gas is given to them, but this effect is temporary and the child usually regains their energy in a short period of time.

  • Sweating

Nitrous oxide can cause sweating in a small number of cases, but this shouldn’t be a cause for alarm, it stops as the gas is eliminated from the body.

  • Nitrous oxide cause difficulty breathing

This can also be seen in rare cases, Nitrous oxide can cause difficulty in breathing, and this requires immediate medical attention and intervention.

  • It can cause loss of consciousness

Although rare cases, laughing gas can lead to loss of consciousness, so there is need for proper administration and monitoring by trained professionals.

  • Emotional instability

Laughing gas may cause temporary emotional changes in some kids, but these effects are usually brief and fade away gradually.

So, you’ve seen some of the side effects or potential risks of nitrous oxide in children, without wasting much time, let’s quickly see the benefits.

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Benefits of Laughing Gas in Children

Benefits of laughing gas

Benefits of laughing gas

  • It reduces anxiety in children

Laughing gas helps to reduce anxiety and fear in children, while it creates a more comfortable and relaxed experience during medical procedures.

  • It acts as a Pain relief

Laughing gas acts as a calm analgesic, providing pain relief for kids who are undergoing dental treatments or minor surgeries.

  • Non-invasive administration

Laughing gas is inhaled through a mask, making it a non-invasive method that doesn’t involve injections or needles; this reduces anxiety associated with medical procedures.

  • Conscious sedation

Nitrous oxide allows kids to remain conscious and responsive during the procedure, enabling communication with healthcare providers if their attention is needed.

  • It is safe for most children

It is considered safe for the majority of children, including those with certain medical conditions, making it a versatile sedation option.

  • Reduces muscle tension

Laughing gas helps to reduce muscle tension and promotes muscle relaxation, which can be particularly helpful for children who may have difficulty staying still during medical procedures.

  • No continuous effects

Once the administration of laughing gas is stopped; the effects stops quickly.  There will be no continuous sedation or impairment, enabling a swift return to normal activities.

  • Increases comfort in patients

Laughing gas increases a sense of calmness and comfort for children, helping them feel more at ease and less anxious about the medical procedure.

  • Positive overall experience

By reducing anxiety, providing pain relief, and ensuring a smoother procedure, laughing gas contributes to a more positive overall experience for children, establishing a favorable perception of medical care and fostering trust in healthcare professionals.

These are some of the benefits of nitrous oxide, by now; you now know some of the benefits and some nitrous oxide child side effects.

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FAQs: Is Laughing Gas Safe for Kids?

  1. What does laughing gas do to a child?

Laughing gas, or nitrous oxide, relaxes a child and provides pain relief during medical procedures. It helps to keep the patient calm and also reduces anxiety, making the experience more comfortable for the child.

  1. How long does laughing gas last in a child?

The effects of laughing gas typically last only a few minutes after the gas administration is stopped, it’s usually 5 minutes in most cases. Once the child stops inhaling the gas, it quickly clears from the body, and then allows the child to recover and resume normal activities shortly after the procedure.

  1. Will my child feel pain with laughing gas?

Laughing gas acts as a calm analgesic and helps to reduce pain during medical procedures. While it may not completely eliminate all sensations, it significantly reduces pain perception, providing a more comfortable experience for the child.

  1. Is laughing gas bad for the brain?

If nitrous oxide is being used in a right way and in adequate doses, it is safe for medical use, including for kids. However, if it is being prolonged or exposed excessively without proper oxygen levels, it can potentially have harmful effects on brain function. Therefore, it is very advisable to follow adequate administration protocols to ensure the safety of the child.

  1. Can a child die from laughing gas?

It is extremely rare; there have been cases of serious complications, which include fatalities, associated with the inappropriate use or overexposure to nitrous oxide. However, when it is administered by trained professionals in appropriate doses and with proper monitoring, the risks are small, and laughing gas is considered safe for most children.

  1. Can a child eat before laughing gas?

It is generally recommended not to eat heavy meal a few hours before receiving laughing gas to minimize the risk of nausea or vomiting. However, healthcare providers may provide specific instructions regarding eating and drinking based on the individual needs of the child and the planned procedure.

  1. Is laughing gas safe for a 6-year-old?

Laughing gas is considered safe for children, including 6-year-olds when it is administered by trained professionals in appropriate doses and under careful supervision. Before it’s administered to a child, the dosage will be determined by the age, weight, and specific needs of the child.

  1. Is laughing gas safe for a 5-year-old?

Nitrous oxide is generally safe for 5-year-olds when it is administered correctly by trained professionals. The dosage and administration will be adjusted according to the child’s age, weight, and the specific procedure being performed.

  1. Is laughing gas safe for an 8-year-old?

Yes, laughing gas is typically safe for 8-year-olds when it is given by professionals following appropriate protocols. The dosage and administration will be tailored to the child’s age, weight, and the specific procedure being undertaken.

  1. Is laughing gas safe for a 7-year-old?

Nitrous oxide is considered safe for 7-year-olds when administered by trained professionals according to proper guidelines. The dosage and administration will be tailored to the child’s age, weight, and the specific procedure being undertaken.

Conclusion: Is Laughing Gas Safe for Kids

Laughing gas is safe for kids when it is given by trained professionals and in proper doses. You’ve seen some benefits and potential risks/side effects of Nitrous oxide. I hope this post has answered your questions on this topic.

I hope you got value from this article, kindly like and share this article on social media for others to keep reading.

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