Victim's mom warns of huffing dangers

After her son's death, apparently from huffing or inhaling a computer dusting spray, Beverly Helms started researching. Full Story
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whoa there

Grand Rapids, MI

#1 Oct 17, 2008
what a brave woman. i hope she reaches out and is able to make some changes in people's lives. So sad about Michael...these kids do know dangers they are just looking for "something".

We need to questions why the need...
40andfree

Canton, OH

#2 Oct 17, 2008
who bought and gave the can of dust spray to this kid? are they going to charge that person with his death?

mom, i too hope you can reach the 100000 of kids who think "nothing will happen to me"
RoscoeD

Midland, MI

#3 Oct 17, 2008
40andfree wrote:
who bought and gave the can of dust spray to this kid? are they going to charge that person with his death?
mom, i too hope you can reach the 100000 of kids who think "nothing will happen to me"
I think your first sentence is unfair, to buy a can of computer dusting spray is a lot different than leaving prescription painkillers or illegal drugs around where children can get them. And if the child had no previous drug use, they had no reason to suspect he was doing this. She's going through enough pain right now. I am concerned about the videos she saw that showed mothers spraying this stuff in the face of toddlers, it's cruel to begin with and downright dangerous. I agree with her, they should be pulled, they definitely encourage the wrong behavior and give the wrong impression about safety. My brother used to think it was funny to spray hair spray and light a match, until the day he caught himself on fire. We used to plead with our mother to make him stop, he terrified us with this stunt. Her answer was always that they wouldn't sell it on a store shelf if it was unsafe. Luckily for my brother, he survived, others aren't so fortunate.
local mom

United States

#5 Oct 17, 2008
Thank you to Wood Tv 8 for posting a story about this and thank you so much to Michael's mom to do the research and come forward with this.
As a parent of a teen who knew Michael, having this story out there means a lot. My son told me Michael didn't do drugs. He had a hard time believing the cause of death because of it. I want all teens and parents to understand the dangers of something that doesn't seem like a big deal.
My son attended the skate park memorial right after his death and the memorial at his church. Taking him and picking him up from there was an awesome experience...to see how many teens and young adults were there for Michael, and for each other. Maybe because he had so many friends we as parents can get the message that huffing is dangerous to all these kids and more.
Scrcoach

United States

#6 Oct 17, 2008
Sad. Reality wasn't enough for this skater-dude to master. Why did he have to handicap himself with a huff before school?

My prayers are for you, Mom. May you find the space in your life to get past these horrible days.

One last point - where's Dad? A real man would have been involved with this young man and shown him the right ways to use his body, not as a tool for screwing up his mind.
RIP

Detroit, MI

#7 Oct 17, 2008
Very sorry for your loss. I hope your endeavor will raise the money that you hope it will and in some small way start your healing. Good luck. No one thinks that when they begin this dangerous thrill that it could end up that way. Hopefully this will make more kids aware.
John Q Public

South Haven, MI

#8 Oct 17, 2008
Wheres the dad? Thats a fair question but its a moot point.

We all know about huffing and its obvious this boy did as well, therefore we all know about the death that can come from as did this boy.

Having a Dad in the picture doesnt mean he wasn't going to do what he did. It also doesn't mean that the father wold even give him good advice or that the boy would even follow it.

You can lead a Horse to water......

We have all done things our parents have told us not to do even after they told us what could happen. He was a kid, they feel like it will never happen to them.
big rapids

Big Rapids, MI

#9 Oct 17, 2008
He could have bought it himself Lets not get off track here!
40andfree wrote:
who bought and gave the can of dust spray to this kid? are they going to charge that person with his death?
mom, i too hope you can reach the 100000 of kids who think "nothing will happen to me"
hoofhearted

Greenville, MI

#10 Oct 17, 2008
40andfree wrote:
who bought and gave the can of dust spray to this kid? are they going to charge that person with his death?
mom, i too hope you can reach the 100000 of kids who think "nothing will happen to me"
Why is it that as soon as a cause of death is disclosed, someone wants legal action taken against another person? There are containers of things in my house that could cause death in certain situations. Does that mean that if my child decides to eat, drink, sniff, inject or immerse himself in it without my knowledge that I could be charged with a crime? If I had purchased a substance with the idea of letting my son use it in an effort to get high, that would be a different matter, but we need to relax a little bit and realize that there are way too many things out there that could injure or kill if they are misused. At some point, people have to be responsible for their own actions. While I certainly feel bad for the boy, his family and his friends, I think that charging anyone with a crime in this case would be foolish. While we certainly can hope that this would teach a lesson to others, there is the idea, especially among young people, that they will live forever. I know, I was young once myself.
Dave

Grand Rapids, MI

#11 Oct 17, 2008
This really sucks. I'm very sorry for the family and friends of this young man. This is the type of thing that could seriously happen to anyone.

So far on this board I've seen several comments that I feel the need to respond to. The first one was that his friends said he didn't do drugs. Technically they may have been right. Computer duster is not a drug like heroin or cocaine. It's legal and anyone can buy it in the store. This leads people to believe that it's not dangerous. Power saws are also legal, but obviously if they're not used properly they can be very dangerous. Kudos to the brave mother for getting so involved and letting kids know this type of thing is dangerous.

Another comment I noticed was "who bought the duster? Are they going to be charged?" I'm assuming this was a slam on the recent story where the girl who sold someone drugs who od'd is being charged with murder. Assuming the poster doesn't agree that she should be charged with murder. If not and you're really blaming the person who bought the product, then you're out of line.

There was one comment that really bothered me - "where's dad?" This is a ridiculous comment. Both my parents told me lots of times about things that are bad, and I did some of them anyway. Some good kids with good parents make mistakes because they need to see what life is all about. Most of them turn out find, but some don't. I was lucky. Chances are there's nothing the parents could have done to stop this. Sometimes kids just don't listen.

Hopefully more kids will listen now.
aww

Ann Arbor, MI

#12 Oct 17, 2008
this is so sad. My condolences to his family, especially to his mom who is hurting.
shorty

Middleville, MI

#13 Oct 17, 2008
First i would say that you are bring the awarness to this to all of his friends and others that know what happened they have seen what his friends and family have went through and are still going thur, I really think it open's there eyes, and second you can buy that any where there is no age limit. and again it does not matter where the dad was. belive me i am a single mother and I understand what people are thinking and I know what the family is going thur. I am a friend to this family and i see it more than you know what affects this has on them and people that know him........
mmm

Grand Rapids, MI

#14 Oct 17, 2008
RoscoeD wrote:
<quoted text>
I think your first sentence is unfair, to buy a can of computer dusting spray is a lot different than leaving prescription painkillers or illegal drugs around where children can get them. And if the child had no previous drug use, they had no reason to suspect he was doing this. She's going through enough pain right now. I am concerned about the videos she saw that showed mothers spraying this stuff in the face of toddlers, it's cruel to begin with and downright dangerous. I agree with her, they should be pulled, they definitely encourage the wrong behavior and give the wrong impression about safety. My brother used to think it was funny to spray hair spray and light a match, until the day he caught himself on fire. We used to plead with our mother to make him stop, he terrified us with this stunt. Her answer was always that they wouldn't sell it on a store shelf if it was unsafe. Luckily for my brother, he survived, others aren't so fortunate.
While I agree with you that it is unfair to question who bought the spray and to have that person arrested I don't agree with you comment that the spray should be of the shelves. I am sorry that the boy died but how many more things can we put "behind the counter" to protect people from their own stupidity. Common sense needs to come into play here somewhere and at some point in all of our lives we need to be taught and need to learn to be responsible for our actions. Unfortunately sometimes our actions may cost us or someone else their lives. The government can not protect, nor should they protect us from all of our stupidity and there comes a point when we need to stop BLAMING every one else for what happens to us.
Brownie Burglar

United States

#15 Oct 17, 2008
I wonder if somebody sprays it up their keester if it has the same effect.
beerhere

Grand Rapids, MI

#16 Oct 17, 2008
haven't these kids ever heard of Budweiser?
Mom

New York, NY

#17 Oct 17, 2008
Did you also know that Pam cooking spray has the same results as the "dusting" spray? We lost a girl when I was in high school in the early 80's to this same type of quick high.
So do we charge the makers of non-stick cooking sprays also?

“Taz say Hi”

Since: Jan 08

Holland,MI

#18 Oct 17, 2008
Kids think adults are trying to keep them from having fun. As a result, they don't believe the warnings that they are hearing. They think most stuff is safe, as do many adults, because, after all, "it wouldn't be on the shelf" if it wasn't safe. It is safe, if used properly! It's the misuse that makes it dangerous!
Murphy

United States

#19 Oct 17, 2008
Uggh c'mon people. Blame this, blame that - it's daddy's fault. This kind of tradgedy happens everyday. Open your eyes and look around. There is something drastically wrong with us today. Look at what our kids and even our adults are doing to eachother everyday.

We as a society are to blame for where we are. Somewhere we screwed up with our parental responsiblity and communication with our kids. Kids no longer have any base morals or common sense. They look at and accept violence/crime as an everyday occurance. We need to find a solution and get it into our children's head by middle school. After this in all likelyhood, it's too late. Sorry for my rant.
mercygal

Greenville, MI

#20 Oct 17, 2008
John Q Public said... We all know about huffing and its obvious this boy did as well, therefore we all know about the death that can come from as did this boy.

This statement is not true. We ALL do NOT know about "huffing".
Just to dispel any erroneous information....my conversation with the coroner who was on the scence when Mike was found, clearly said this was accidental. He DID NOT know what he was doing.
It appalled me to when talking with parents with children yesterday, to find most parents have never heard of this method of "huffing". Some didnt even know what "Duster" was. It is easy to understand why parents of toddlers wouldnt be sympathetic to this issue, but to generalize and say "We all know" is totally incorrect.
Mike was NOT a troubled kid. But he was a normal teenager with curiosities.
Mike is missed dearly by his family, and this community has done a wonderful loving job of supporting us through this difficult time, and we thank them.
mikes grandma
Brownie Burglar

United States

#21 Oct 17, 2008
Mom wrote:
Did you also know that Pam cooking spray has the same results as the "dusting" spray? We lost a girl when I was in high school in the early 80's to this same type of quick high.
So do we charge the makers of non-stick cooking sprays also?
Isn't that stuff made to be safely ingested? It's on our food.

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