Boy, 11, dies from cardiac arrest after attempting ‘chroming’ TikTok challenge, family says

An 11-year-old boy in the United Kingdom died from cardiac arrest after attempting the “chroming” TikTok challenge, according to the child’s family.

Tommie-Lee Gracie Billington went into cardiac arrest and was found unresponsive at a friend’s home in Lancaster around 12 p.m. on March 2, according to the Times of London.

The boy was later pronounced dead at a local hospital.

The boy’s grandmother, Tina Burns, explained, “He died instantly after a sleepover at a friend’s house. The boys had tried the TikTok craze ‘chroming.’ 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.”

The distraught grandmother added, “He had a heart of gold just like his dad. Our family is utterly devastated.”

The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center defines chroming as: “The inhalation of aerosol paint and other chemical products in an attempt to get high.”

“Hydrocarbons are present in many different household products, including aerosol paint, paint thinner, motor fuel, and glue,” the hospital warns. “Inhaling them can create a high, which causes many people to use them as a drug of abuse. People may inhale the chemicals in different ways — breathing in the fumes directly or using something like a bag or rag.”

Chroming is sometimes known as “huffing.”

The Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, Australia, cautions that chroming can cause hallucinations, impulsive behavior, depression, slurred speech, lack of coordination, headaches, dizziness, brain dysfunction, seizures, palpitations, shortness of breath, and even sudden death.

Forbes reported, “684,000. That’s how many adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17 huffed or inhaled toxic chemicals in 2015, according to a 2017 report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. A total of 1.8 million people 12 years and older performed the practice that same year, though inhalant use typically decreases with age.”

Following the tragedy, the grieving grandmother said social media companies need to “do more,” and added, “We don’t want any other children to follow TikTok or be on social media.”

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