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Police warn of dangers of inhaling aerosols


Police warn of dangers of inhaling aerosols

Wellington CIB is warning parents and young people of the dangers of inhaling aerosol products such as air fresheners and flysprays after the tragic death in the weekend of a 15-year-old schoolgirl.

Detective Senior Sergeant Simon Perry, Wellington CIB, says the 15-year-old and a friend were inhaling canned air freshener at the girl’s home on Saturday afternoon when the girl went into respiratory distress and collapsed.

The girl’s mother who was elsewhere in the house and paramedics frantically tried to revive her but unfortunately she died.

While the case has still to be considered by the coroner, it is likely that the inhalation of the aerosol has contributed to the girl’s death.

Police say in January 2002 a Porirua teenager died in similar circumstances.

"The risks to young adults from using aerosols are extremely high," Detective Senior Sergeant Perry says. "It appears that in this latest case the young girl and her friend were trying to get a cheap high when things went horribly wrong. The girl’s family is naturally devastated."

Her friend was distraught but not affected by the spray.

Mr Perry says parents need to be aware of the dangers, especially now during the summer when teenagers are often unsupervised and have time on their hands.

"There are hazard warnings carried on the sides of aerosol cans and these need to be reinforced at home," he says.

"The proper use of aerosol sprays are commonplace in homes so parents may not always question the presence of cans in their children’s rooms or bags.

"Based on the weekend’s death, it pays to speak to your children about the use and abuse of solvents to prevent a further tragedy, or have them suffering from long-term medical problems such as brain damage."


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