UK Man Arrested After 11-Year-Old Dies From TikTok Challenge

An 11-year-old boy in the UK tragically lost his life after participating in a dangerous TikTok challenge during a sleepover. The incident has led to the arrest of a 25-year-old man from Lancaster, sparking a call for increased awareness among parents about their children’s online activities.

Tommy-lee Gracie Billington fell unconscious after inhaling toxic substances as part of a TikTok challenge known as “chroming.” This dangerous activity involves inhaling chemicals such as solvents, aerosols, paint, or cleaning products to achieve a high similar to drunkenness. Billington was rushed to the hospital but sadly passed away in March due to cardiac arrest.

Billington’s grandmother, Tina Burns, expressed the family’s devastation and urged other parents to monitor their children’s social media use closely. “He had a heart of gold just like his dad. Our family is utterly devastated,” she said. Burns emphasized the need for awareness, noting that they did not want any other family to experience such a loss. The family received messages from other parents, grateful for the warning about dangerous online challenges.

Lancashire Police announced the arrest of the man, who faces charges including child cruelty, neglect, possession with intent to supply a drug, and money laundering. He has been released on bail while the investigation continues. A 35-year-old woman was also voluntarily questioned in relation to possession with intent to supply.

Billington’s mother, Sherri, took to Facebook to raise awareness about the dangers of TikTok challenges. “As much as I hate talking about it, I need to raise awareness of what kids are trying nowadays,” she wrote. “It is beyond me why anyone would even try this. It’s so dangerous.” She implored parents to discuss the consequences of such actions with their children to prevent further tragedies.

TikTok has stated that it has removed posts encouraging chroming and other harmful challenges from its platform. However, the incident has highlighted the urgent need for parents to stay vigilant about their children’s online activities and the potential dangers they may encounter.