Magazine article USA TODAY

"Huffing" Inhalants Can Prove Fatal

Magazine article USA TODAY

"Huffing" Inhalants Can Prove Fatal

Article excerpt

Most youths say they are aware of people breathing in fumes of products such as glue, paint, and cleaners, and about one-quarter say their friends "huff," according to a nationwide survey on inhalant abuse sponsored by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). In addition, it revealed that children are an average of 12 years old when they first see or hear about their classmates who huff.

"Abusing inhalants can cause severe permanent damage, especially to the brain," notes AAP president Joel J. Alpert. "The scariest thing about inhalants is that your child could die from using them only once. Parents worry about alcohol and drugs, but may not realize that home products also pose a substance abuse hazard. The best way to prevent inhalant abuse is to educate your child about how harmful these products are. Explain to your child how inhalants can cause both short- and long-term health problems, lead to further drug abuse, and even death." Signs and symptoms of inhalant abuse include breath and clothing that smell like chemicals; spots or sores around the mouth; paint or stains on body or clothing; drunk, dazed, or glassy-eyed look; nausea; loss of appetite; anxiety; excitability; and/or irritability. …

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