Anne Ryan found her 16-year-old daughter Brooke dead on her bedroom floor in Broken Hill, New South Wales, Australia, after she suffered a suspected heart attack from sniffing aerosols
Image: Brooke Ryan/Facebook)
A teenage girl was found dead on the floor clutching a deodorant can after it’s believed she sniffed the aerosol fumes.
Brooke Ryan’s lifeless body was discovered by her mother Anne at their home in Broken Hill, New South Wales, Australia, on February 3.
The 16-year-old was lying face down with a can of deodorant and a tea towel underneath her.
The talented athlete, who was on the brink of starting Year 11, died of a suspected heart attack after sniffing aerosols in a deadly activity known as ‘chroming’.
An Australian school teacher previously called for restrictions on the sale of deodorant cans in a bid to stamp out the dangerous trend.
Anne Ryan spoke out about her daughter’s death on Mother’s Day to warn other parents about the dangers of inhalant abuse.
She told the Sydney Morning Herald: “I wake up, I think of her, I go to sleep and think of her… Every day is a nightmare.
“She was a beautiful girl with a heart of gold, who’s just so sorely missed, and would be absolutely devastated to know the negative impact she’s had on so many people from her death.”
The mum believes her daughter died of sudden sniffing death syndrome, although the coroner’s report has yet to be released.
Anne said Brooke struggled with anxiety, especially during the pandemic, although she was determined to overcome the challenges she faced.
She was a keen athlete and organizers from her local Australian Football League competition paid tribute to her following her death.
AFL Broken Hill said she was a talented and popular member of the North Football Club and academy squad for the Greater Western Sydney Giants Football Club.
The teen wanted to become a lawyer, physiotherapist or a beautician when she was older.
Warning signs of inhalant abuse include frequent headaches, using more deodorant cans than usual and white patches on tea towels or hand towels.
Ms Ryan is pushing for parents and youngsters to be taught about the risk of inhalants.
She also wants labeling on deodorant cans to clearly set out the risks of inhaling aerosols.
Chroming became such an issue in the outback Queensland town of Mt Isa that three major stores, Coles, Kmart and Woolworths, put their aerosols in locked display cabinets last year, Mail Online reports.
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It is claimed children as young as seven were hooked on sniffing from cans, paint tins, peroxides and hair dies.
The New South Wales Poisons Information Center received a spike in reports about aerosols between 2017 and 2020.
From 2010 to 2017 the center logged 50 to 60 yearly calls about inhalants, however this rose to 75 in 2019, 96 in 2019 and 107 in 2020.
Around half of the calls related to children aged under 11, while 20% were for 12 to 18-year-olds.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.