Parents are unaware their kids are exposing themselves to dangerous substances in the Mid North

VOICE: Port Pirie Regional Council's Cr Kendall Jackson has spoken out about the dangers facing teenagers who inhale fumes from canisters.
VOICE: Port Pirie Regional Council's Cr Kendall Jackson has spoken out about the dangers facing teenagers who inhale fumes from canisters.

In a tight-knit community, residents often hear about illegal drugs.

But what parents might not know are the hidden dangers of everyday household items that teenagers are misusing to get a "cheap high".

Former ABC journalist, recent Liberal candidate for Frome and councillor with Port Pirie Regional Council Kendall Jackson is a mother of four teenagers who has always had open conversations with her kids about substance use.

"As a parent, you talk to your children and educate them as best as you can, but they can still make their own decisions," she said.

Yet she fears children are unaware of the short and long-term implications of inhaling toxic gases. It is detrimental to their health and can damage their respiratory system, brain and heart, possibly resulting in death.

"These things are not meant to be used for that purpose ... they are misusing them," said Cr Jackson.

"I think children think they are invincible, but they are not."

After receiving a video from one of her children "sniffing from the bottle" at a party, she decided to speak out, sharing her own experience in the hope to raise awareness.

"If anyone thinks that it is not an issue in Port Pirie then they are wrong. It is definitely in Port Pirie," she said.

"I just wonder if some of these parents realise it is their children who are actually doing it."

But Cr Jackson said it was the heart-breaking story about a young boy from Port Lincoln, which struck her.

Paddy Ryan was just 16 when he lost his life after inhaling LPG gas - an act known as 'huffing' - from a cylinder attached to a barbecue at a friend's house.

"You hear about these things and it comes and goes from your thoughts," she said.

"His incident is one that did not leave me, because he is in the same age bracket as my children ... you do think something more needs to be done."

Cr Jackson said she often talks to other parents about these issues, yet a lot of them are unaware that this is going on.

"That is the scary part," she said.

A petition has been raised to mandate the labeling of all gas bottles containing LPG with a warning which reads "inhalation may cause death".

Cr Jackson is asking residents to sign the petition.

For more information, parents can access the Australian Drug Foundation website here.

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