Family warn of dangers of aerosol abuse after daughter, 12, died

Sporty schoolgirl, 12, was found dead by her twin brother after inhaling deodorant fumes in her bedroom as her heartbroken family warn other children of the dangers

  • Jess Anderson died at home after a ‘tragic error of judgement’ inhaling aerosols
  • Sporty youngster discovered unconscious in her room by her twin brother Tom 
  • Death shocked those who knew Year 8 pupil at Severn Vale School in Quedgeley
  • Now grieving family are calling for aerosols to be banned from sale to under-18s

Jess Anderson, 12, who died inhaling deodorant was discovered unconscious in her home in Quedgeley, Gloucestershire

A 12-year-old girl died in her bedroom after inhaling deodorant fumes – leading her family to launch a campaign to warn youngsters about the danger of aerosol abuse.

Jess Anderson died after a ‘tragic error of judgement’ in inhaling aerosol spray from deodorant cans, an inquest into her death heard.

She was found face-down on her bed by her twin brother Tom at the family home in Quedgeley, Gloucestershire, last November.  

Jess was transferred from her home to Bristol Children’s Hospital, where she was declared dead later the same evening.

It was believed she had only started abusing aerosols a week earlier. 

Now Tom and his mother Theresa Herbert, 48, have joined forces with the twins’ school and local charity workers to set up the Jessi Trust, warning other youngsters of the dangers of inhaling from aerosols and banning the sale of them to under-18s.

Teresa said: ‘There are plenty of parents out there that have no idea that this is happening.

‘We need to promote awareness to parents, young people and children, because I certainly did not have a clue or idea what was happening.

‘Tom was literally saying only the other day that this should not have happened to Jess, but we didn’t know what was going on.

‘But since the meeting we know what we want to do for Jess, both short and long term.’

She added: ‘There are some fantastic people on board. We are going to get a website up and running, and we are thinking about ways to get through to young people generally.

‘To be honest, my head is still everywhere at the moment, but I wanted to see what we could do, and now we have ideas and options and plans for the future.’

The sporty youngster was discovered unconscious in her room by her twin brother Tom (pictured left)

She added: ‘I have children that are aged between 31 and 12, but things are different for the youngsters compared to when I had my first child. We have to know how to talk to this generation.’

The news of Jess’ tragic death shocked those who knew the Year 8 pupil at Severn Vale School in Quedgeley.

Jess’ devastated family said at the time of her death: ‘She was the life and soul of everything that she did and beautiful inside and out. Her talents were endless’

Her devastated family said at the time of her death: ‘She was the life and soul of everything that she did and beautiful inside and out. Her talents were endless.’

And her school added: ‘She was a girl of many talents: a sportswoman, a gifted student, a great friend.

‘Enormously popular with her peers and the staff, nothing was too much trouble for Jess.

‘Put simply, it was a joy to have Jess as a student at Severn Vale, and the whole school community is completely devastated by her terrible loss.’

The Jessi Trust aims to promote awareness of solvent and substance abuse to young people, as well as providing workshops for their parents and guardians to help identify the signs of misuse.

The Trust will also be there to advise concerned parents or guardians on what to do.

And it is also seeking to change the law by adding deodorant aerosols onto the list of substances not to be sold to under-18s, as current legislation on this is unclear.

Its name inspired its misison statement, which reads: ‘(J)oining together to promote awareness and (E)ducating young people on the dangers of (S)olvent and (S)ubstance abuse, and the (I)mpact it has on the Community.’

If you are worried about your children or friends misusing substances, you can also contact the charity Frank on 0300 123 6600 or by text on 82111.

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