The Caretaker's Cupboard

Safety Checklist - Really important, maybe even lifesaving, information

  • We do not wish to scare your child(ren) or tell them that aerosol products are bad, in fact if used properly then they should be safe.
  • We do want them to understand that an aerosol product should only be used for the job it is meant for, if it isn’t then it can be very dangerous.
  • There are 60 - 80 deaths every year in the UK for those aged under 15 years old from inappropriate use of aerosol products. This is because the gas in the can, Butane, affects the way the heart works. This is an issue if ANYONE breaths too much butane, child or adult.

The following explains why this happens…

  • Butane, the propellant gas in the majority of aerosol cans, when inhaled, makes the heart more sensitive to adrenalin. If a product that has butane in, so any aerosols, are used for what they are intended for, and instructions are followed, they stay relatively safe.
  • If used stupidly and in the wrong way, and this means if anyone sprays from an aerosol directly in to their mouth, it can then become dangerous, or even deadly. This is known as Sudden Sniffing Death Syndrome.
  • Volatile Substances (VS), such as aerosols, kill more young people aged 15 or under than any other drug. They also kill more first time experimental users than any other drug.
  • With these products they are dangerous every time they are used to try and get high.
  • Direct inhalation from the can, spraying in to a bag and inhaling the gas inside are two of the ways butane gas is inhaled for the purpose of getting high.

This information should NOT be passed on to your child(ren) and is for your information only. To pass this information on might give them ideas and make them want to try ‘messing about’ with aerosols.

  • Correct use of aerosol products, in a well ventilated room, won’t cause issues with too much butane being breathed in; this only becomes an issue when a person deliberately tries to breath in butane to try and give themselves a 'rush' or 'high'.
  • Make sure you point out to the child you are reading the story to, that they should only put things in their mouth that are given to them by an adult they can trust.
  • Make sure that everyone in your home works together to think safely, make sure they all know about the messages in this story. Make sure older children are aware of choking, to protect themselves and to look out for younger children they may play with or help you to keep an eye on.

And please make sure your child(ren) knows and understands this one very important thing…

  • Remember to tell your child(ren) that if they are ever worried or have done something that might be dangerous then they should tell you straight away - it could save their life.
  • You might get cross with them later on but you would help them straight away if something bad had happened.
  • 'I love you and want to keep you safe' is the message you want them to remember!