Wednesday, 25 March 2015


In the world of so many people, domestic products like glue serve a major purpose of fixing gadget surfaces or any household item that has endured a fall that almost shattered them. Well, the idea of domestic products serving one purpose is something that only applies to parents who purchase them. Children have another version events unfolding for them with regards to inhalants in the house, to them these items serve several other uses of which none may be in line with their originally intended significance.

As a parent, you would get the basic products to keep you calm on those days when you will be in desperate need of contact adhesive to fix that valuable item that you hold so dear in case it got messed or when you store up paint thinner in order to ensure that the house painting redo is a success. What will never cross your mind is your child using one of these products in search of an adrenaline “rush.” 

Children usually learn to use industrial products when their anxiety leads them onto industrial products that are usually lingering around the house. The youngsters may soon discover the products used in painting can also elevate their mood for a short time, which is just enough to give them a quick “height” before mummy returns. This soon kick starts a desire to use more of the inhalants to boost their mood. What starts out as a simple experiment eventually becomes a demanding habit that will occasionally push children to empty all the glue sachets or paint thinner tins. 

Abuse of inhalants is commonest among young children because they are readily available in the homes, affordable in case they need to purchase them but their biggest secret is no one would ever suspect it is possible to abuse such “ordinary” products. The commonly abused inhalants include: paint thinner, petrol, nail polish remover, adhesive contacts and shoe polish which new on the scene, all these products are legal and present in many homes across the country. The inhalants can be poured in a bottle, onto a shirt or rag where they can occasionally be sniffed.  Street children are at higher risk of abusing inhalants because they lack parental supervision and can readily access industrial products which provide a quick relief that can make them forget the daily struggles they endure to stay alive. 

Children usually use inhalants because of the “rush” and feelings of excitement, happiness and relaxation that they create. This is usually accompanied by a sense of detachment, impulsive laughter, disorientation, slurred speech, drowsiness, nausea and hallucinations in case of overdose.  While all these symptoms may arouse intense discomfort for a while, inhalants also carry grave long term effects that can be fatal. These include depression, chest pain and memory loss but the worst of all is “sudden sniffing death” where a person experiences heart failure immediately after using an inhalant.

For any parents with curious children, one way to prevent abuse of inhalants in a home is to respect the standard precaution of dangerous household substances,” keep out of reach of children.” (image credit to )

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