Forever 13 – Melbourne Teen Dies from Chroming


13-year-old Esra Haynes was a talented netball player, a dancer, a BMX rider and a much-loved daughter, sister and friend. One weekend she decided to try chroming, which involves inhaling dangerous chemicals in order to get high.

Esra suffered cardiac arrest. She remained in hospital for one week before passing away on 8 April, 2023.

Esra Haynes
Esra was just 13 years old. Source: Facebook

‘The silly trap of doing this silly thing’

Now, Esra’s devastated parents, Paul and Andrea Haynes are speaking out in the hopes to raise awareness of how dangerous chroming can be.

“We want to help other children not fall into the silly trap of doing this silly thing,” Paul said. “It’s unquestionable that this will be our crusade. No matter how much you lead a horse to water, anyone can drag them away. It’s not something she would have done on her own.

We will be living for our daughter for the rest of our lives.”

Chroming is purposely breathing in the chemicals in the aerosol spray in order to get high. The chroming high doesn’t last long but it can leave you feeling dizzy, dazed, and euphoric. However, in some instances, it can lead to cardiac arrest and death. Chroming can also cause brain damage, especially if repeating the habit.

Many teens will try chroming, often due to peer pressure or boredom. Queensland hospitals have reported a 30 percent increase in the number of children being treated for chromingMost teens assume they will get a bit high, then that’s it. But chroming, even just once, is incredibly dangerous.

Esra is only one of the many teens who have lost their lives after chroming. The 13-year-old is being remembered by her friends, school, and sporting community for her cheeky attitude and infectious laugh.

Tributes flow for talented schoolgirl

Esra was a student at Lilydale High School in Melbourne’s Outer East. The Department of Education sent its condolences to those impacted by this tragic loss.

Esra Haynes tributes for teen after chroming death
Esra was loved by her family, friends and community. Source: TikTok

“Our hearts go out to the families, community and school that have been impacted by this tragic incident and the school will continue to provide support as required for all affected,” a spokesperson told Herald Sun.

Support will now be offered to students and staff.

Esra’s netball sporting club also paid tribute to the young athlete.

“The Montrose Football Netball Club is heartbroken at the news of the passing of one of our own, Esra Haynes…

Esra was named as one of the co-captains for the Under 14 Girls team for 2023. Esra was determined, fun, cheeky and talented. She will be greatly missed by her teammates, coaches, and the wider community of our Club. Our sincere sympathy and heartfelt condolences to Esra’s family, our support and love are with you all. Rest easy and fly high angel xx.”

Esra’s friends also shared their sadness through social media in various posts and TikToks:

“There wasn’t one day in the past three years you’ve not made my day by your contagious laugh and gorgeous smile. My heart aches and it doesn’t feel real knowing I’ll have to say goodbye to you Esra. your so young. you where [sic] gone to [sic] soon. 

I’ll stay trying to make you proud and continue doing the things that made you happy. I endlessly love and miss you Esra. Rest In Paradise my love. Forever 13.”

Another friend wrote:

“You have made so many friends, you will never be forgotten … She was taken far to soon, she still had so much of her life ahead of her.” 

Our hearts go out to Esra’s family and friends during this terrible time. If you have a tween or teen at home, please take the time to talk to them about the dangers of chroming, even just once.

Chroming on the rise – what to look out for 

Teens are notoriously private and hard to read. But you know your child best. If you notice any of the following, it may be worth investigating further.

  • Irritability and mood changes: This is pretty common with all teens but it is a sign of addiction among other things.
  • Acting out: The high from chroming doesn’t last long but you may notice your child acting strangely – hyper, dizzy or intoxicated.
  • Missing aerosol sprays: This is a big clue that something could be going on. Make sure you check the cupboards to see if any aerosol cans are missing. There are other common household items that people use for sniffing too including paint removers, nail polish removers, vegetable oil cooking spray and whipped cream cans to name a few.
  • Empty cans: You don’t want to be Captain Busy-Body but you also don’t want your teen touching this stuff. If you are suspicious, check their backpack and bedroom.

Regardless of whether you think your child could be chroming or not, it’s important to have a conversation about it. Let them know how dangerous it can be and hopefully, they will choose to avoid this deadly fad.

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Avatar of Jenna Galley

Born and raised in Canada, Jenna now lives in Far North Queensland with her tribe. When the mum-of-three is not writing, you can find her floating in the pool, watching princess movies, frolicking on the beach, bouncing her baby to sleep or nagging her older kids to put on their pants.

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