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11-year-old boy dies ‘immediately’ after doing new ‘chroming’ trend

11-year-old boy dies ‘immediately’ after doing new ‘chroming’ trend

Tommie-Lee Billington tragically passed away during a sleepover at a friend's house

Tributes have been pouring in for an 11-year-old boy who tragically passed away after taking part in a dangerous online challenge.

The heartbroken family of Tommie-Lee Billington have urged parents to educate their children about the devastating consequences that social media crazes can have following his shock death.

The little lad was found unresponsive at a friend's house in Lancaster on Saturday (2 March) after he had been taking part in a challenge popular on social media which is known as 'chroming', his relatives said.

Chroming, also known as huffing or sniffing, is when someone inhales toxic chemicals such as paint, solvent, aerosol cans, cleaning products or petrol.

This affects the central nervous system and results in a brief 'high' as the brain slows down - and can lead to side effects such as slurred speech, dizziness, hallucinations, nausea, vomiting and disorientation.

In more severe cases, chroming can also cause heart attack, seizures and suffocation as well as permanent damage to the brain, heart, lungs, liver and kidneys.

Tommie-Lee's devastated gran, Tina Burns, has claimed that he 'died instantly' after trying the worrying online trend.

She sobbed: "Tommie-Lee went into cardiac arrest immediately and died right there and then. The hospital did everything to try and bring him back but nothing worked. He was gone.

"He had a heart of gold, just like his dad. Our family is utterly devastated."


The schoolboy, who Tina described as a 'bright, energetic' young lad who was 'the life and soul of any room', was rushed to hospital at around 12.00pm on Saturday night before he was pronounced dead a short time later.

Lancashire Police said Tommie-Lee's death is currently unexplained and an investigation into the harrowing incident has been launched.

His grief-stricken mum, Sherri, urged parents to reconsider their children's social media usage to protect them from joining in with the dangerous trends which often go viral.

She wrote in a Facebook post: "As much as I hate talking about it, I need to raise awareness of what kids are trying nowadays. This cost my son his life from trying something other kids are doing.

"Please talk to your children about the consequences of this. It is beyond me why anyone would even try this! It’s so dangerous!"

Tommie-Lee's gran has called on social media bosses to 'do more' to shield young users from deadly trends online, while suggesting that children under the age of 16 to be banned from using it altogether.


"Both our families are utterly devastated but we all want the same thing," Tina added. "We don't want any other children to follow TikTok or be on social media."

A spokesman for Lancashire Police said: "We were called by the ambulance service at 12:04pm on Saturday March 2 to an address on Greenset Close, Lancaster, to a report of a sudden death.

“Emergency services attended an address and found an 11-year-old boy unresponsive. Sadly he was later pronounced dead. The death is currently being treated as unexplained and the coroner has been informed.

"A police investigation is ongoing and the boy's family are being supported by officers. Our thoughts are with the boy’s loved ones at this incredibly sad time. If anyone has any information they are asked to contact police."

TikTok has denied any affiliation with the social media trend.

Featured Image Credit: Facebook

Topics: Health, UK News, News, TikTok, Social Media, Parenting