Boy, 13, died after inhaling deodorant he sprayed

Boy, 13, died after inhaling deodorant he sprayed because it ‘smelled like his mother’, inquest hears

  • Mother of Jack Waple noticed deodorant tins were going missing at their home
  • Susan Waple and his father Robert had spoken to him about his aerosol misuse
  • A post-mortem recorded his medical cause of death as aerosol inhalation

A 13-year-old boy died after inhaling deodorant he sprayed because it ‘smelled like his mother’, an inquest heard.

Susan Waple, the mother of teenager Jack Waple, had previously noticed that deodorant tins were going missing around the house or seemed lighter than usual.

Norfolk’s area coroner Yvonne Blake, summarising a statement from Mrs Waple, said: ‘He assured you nothing was going wrong and said when you went out he was anxious so he sprayed his deodorant about as it smelt like you.

‘He asked you to believe him. You felt you had to show faith in him.’

His parents spoke to him about aerosol misuse, Ms Blake said.

The inquest at Carrow House, Norwich, heard the boy died of misadventure

Jack’s mother found him unresponsive in his bedroom on June 13 2019 and found an aerosol can on his bed.

Despite the efforts of paramedics he died at his home in, Hockwold, Norfolk.

A post-mortem examination recorded his medical cause of death as aerosol inhalation.

Ms Blake said that the pathologist did not find any volatile gases in Jack’s lungs but that they ‘just dissipate because of the way the body reacts after death’.

She said that breathing in the gases from aerosols can ‘jolt’ the heart, and that the damage caused is to the heart rather than the lungs.

‘I think it’s more likely than not he used the aerosol and unexpectedly died,’ said Ms Blake, adding that there was no evidence that Jack intended to harm himself.

‘They say people get a high from it,’ she said.

‘I don’t know. It used to be glue sniffing in my day.

‘It’s the thing in aerosols that makes the gas spray that does the damage.’

She concluded that he died by misadventure, where a deliberate action has an unintended consequence.

Addressing his parents who attended Thursday’s hearing, she said: ‘He would have gone into cardiac arrest and he wouldn’t have known anything.

‘I’m very sorry for your loss.

‘You don’t expect to bury your children.’

Mrs Waple told the coroner: ‘He was very adventurous and would do things like he had learnt off the internet like making a cake in a cup, and making his own ice cubes which are still in the freezer in plastic bags with kiwi fruit in.’

His father Robert Waple, who works as a chef, said that Jack ‘loved experimenting with things’.

He said Jack was prone to nosebleeds and Ms Blake said this could explain blood found on Jack, as the post-mortem examination recorded no signs of haemorrhaging or external damage.