Honor student Aria Doherty died this week after inhaling computer keyboard cleaner. The 14-year-old was found in her California home on Monday after suffering fatal cardiac arrest. Aria’s older sister found her with her nostrils taped shut and the can of compressed air still attached to her mouth. An autopsy will still be conducted.
The Dohertys hope their daughter’s death can be a message to other parents about the threat posed by common household items.
“It’s what the students are doing,” said Aria’s father, Richard Doherty. “We didn’t know much about it at all. Apparently it’s a quick high and it’s fatal in something like 20 percent of the times you use it.”
Aria was a student at Northridge’s Nobel Charter Middle School. She was active in the school’s drama productions and loved animals, according to KTLA.
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Grief counselors from the Los Angeles Unified School District were available on Wednesday to talk to students.
“I’ll miss the incredible warmth,” her mother, Carolyn Doherty, reflected. “Whenever I was with her … There’s nobody that can compare to her.”
Aria’s death comes one week after a 12-year-old girl from Victorville died after inhaling Freon from the air conditioning units her backyard. Kristal Salcido inhaled the chemical and later passed out in her grandma’s bathroom. She was pronounced brain-dead at a local hospital. Her family decided to take her off life support four days later.
One in five students has inhaled a chemical to get high by the eighth grade, according to anti-drug website inhalants.org.
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