13-year-old death from trend called ‘chroming’

The shattered parents of 13-year-old Esra Haynes, who tragically passed away due to inhaling dangerous fumes from a deodorant can, are determined to make their daughter’s life meaningful.

Esra was a Year 8 student at Lilydale High School in Melbourne’s outer east, and her parents, Paul and Andrea, never expected that the regular sleepover she attended with her friends would be her last.

On March 31, 2023, she took part in a popular trend called “chroming,” which involves inhaling chemicals from aerosol cans, and the effects were fatal.

“We were shocked to receive a phone call that night asking us to come and get our daughter. The pictures of what we saw will never be erased from our minds,” Paul told A Current Affair.

Paramedics tried to revive Esra at the scene, but she was rushed to the hospital in an unresponsive state and was later pronounced brain dead. Her family and friends gathered to say their last goodbye and held her in their arms until she passed away.

Esra is the latest in a series of teenagers who have died or have been severely injured due to “chroming.” In response, Coles and Woolworths supermarkets across Australia locked up their deodorant can supplies in 2021, and the Victorian Education Department accelerated their efforts to provide schoolchildren with information about the dangers of “chroming.”

Esra’s parents have made it their mission to make sure that no other family has to face the same sorrow they did. They are calling for aerosol manufacturers to change deodorant formulas to make them safer, for CPR to be taught in all schools across Australia, and for tighter scrutiny of social media in order to keep children away from adult content.

Most importantly, they want Esra’s story to be known so that kids understand the consequences of “chroming.”

“Esra would never have done this if she knew the consequences,” Paul said. “We want to honor her memory by trying to make a difference and ensure that no other family has to go through what we have.”