Norfolk boy died after inhaling deodorant 'that smelt like his mother'

image copyrightGeograph
image captionThe inquest at Carrow House, Norwich, heard the boy died of misadventure

A teenage boy died after inhaling deodorant he sprayed because it "smelt like his mother", an inquest has heard.

Jack Waple, 13, was found unresponsive at his home in Main Street, Hockwold, Norfolk, in June, with an aerosol can by his side.

The boy had previously reassured his mother he only "sprayed it about" to smell her if he felt anxious when she left the house, the hearing was told.

Coroner Yvonne Blake concluded he died by misadventure.

A post-mortem examination recorded his medical cause of death as "aerosol inhalation". He also suffered a cardiac arrest, the inquest at Carrow House heard.

The hearing was told Jack's mother Susan Waple had previously noticed deodorant cans were going missing around the house or seemed lighter than usual.


Addressing Mrs Waple, Ms Blake said: "[Jack had] assured you nothing was going wrong and said he sprayed his deodorant about as it smelt like you."

His parents had spoken to him about aerosol misuse, Ms Blake added.

On 13 June, Jack's mother discovered the teenager unresponsive in his bedroom and found an aerosol can nearby.

Ms Blake said breathing in the gases from aerosols can "jolt" and damage the heart, rather than the lungs.

"I think it's more likely than not he used the aerosol and unexpectedly died," she said, adding there was no evidence Jack intended to harm himself.

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

"He would have gone into cardiac arrest and he wouldn't have known anything," she told his parents.

"I'm very sorry for your loss. You don't expect to bury your children."

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