A 'RIDICULOUS' amount of empty gas canisters were found on a playing field, re-igniting concerns for the children who inhale their contents.

The North Wales South Flintshire policing team removed the empty nitrous oxide containers from the pathway alongside the Argoed bowling green and sports field in Mynydd Isa.

A spokesman said on social media: "Do your kids know the risks of inhaling this gas?"

The Leader has previously reported the growing concerns from police officers regarding the drug, known as 'laughing gas' and the importance of parents teaching their children about the dangers.

Sgt Neil Hughes of the Safer Neighbourhood Team, said the items can be purchased within minutes online and then arrive within a few days.

He added: "The amount of canisters that were found in Mynydd Isa is ridiculous, there was loads.

"It is a growing concern and I think it's because it is partially glamourised and people think because it's called laughing gas it's not harmful but it's being abused.

"It isn't like a powdered drug or strong-smelling one. Children can go out and do nitrous oxide and then by the time they get home they have recovered, but it can have serious side effects if people are using it too long."

Nitrous Oxide is inhaled from the canister, into a balloon and then inhaled again, which the Sgt has described as 'dangerous' due to the inhalation of carbon dioxide.

Some side effects can include loss of consciousness, parts of the brain shutting down and even death.

Neil said: "Parents need to discuss the matter frankly with their children. Safety is the key element and this drug is not safe. A lot of parents don't know where there kids are.

"If there is a group of kids then one of them will buy in bulk and get the money from their mates so there will be no evidence on your child, like cocaine or heroin. This is an anonymous drug, that's why it's so difficult.

"Carbon Dioxide canisters can also be sold online for cheaper but are being marketed as Nitrous Oxide, but it's lethal. And criminal gangs are exploiting children."

If police officers see the cannisters on an individual then the Sgt said they have the power to seize and destroy.

Anyone with any concerns or information about people using nitrous oxide can contact the police on 101 or via their live webchat.

Parents who have concerns about drugs can contact Flintshire Sorted (formerly the Young People's Drug and Alcohol Team) on 01352 703 490.

This service offers a range of advice on a one-to-one basis including harm reduction advice, healthy lifestyles, relapse prevention and more.