News, Teesside

Warning to children over the 24-hour IKEA hiding challenge

Another stupid craze is sweeping the nation’s youth, one that involves children going missing for 24 hours challenged by the internet. Leaving parents in fear that the worst could have happened to their children who fail to return home from school.

Police launched a major operation to locate a missing 11-year-old who was found hiding in an Ikea store after he took part in an internet challenge which encourages children to go missing for 24 hours.

Kaden Mirza’s aged 11 was reported missing after he failed to return home from school on February 6th sparking a major police operation.

He was found in IKEA, when staff opened the business for the following morning, Kaden was proud of himself and claimed that he had been taking part in an internet challenege called “Stay Inside IKEA Overnight and Not Be Discovered.”

The 11-year-old had just taken part in the new dangerous craze that is spreading across social media.

What is the game?

Children and Teenagers are challenged to sneak into popular stores just before they close, they must avoid security guards and hide in the store until it is closed.

Once they are in they have to film that happens during the night and post it online.

Fearing the worst

Abid Mirza feared the worst when his son failed to return home, he was filled with anxiety because his son had never gone missing before.

He had no idea what happened to his son, throughout the night he could not sleep and spent the night searching for his son, calling his freinds parents in utter worry, what could have happened to him?.

Abid, from Nether Edge in Sheffield, South Yorks., said: “We have been through a very rough time in the last 24 hours. I hope no parents go through this.

“I just don’t have the words to describe what to say.

“We as a family are very grateful to everyone who helped out in any way, we have been through very, very hard time.

Facebook Warning 

Abid has now turned to Facebook to issue a warning to parents about the new craze.

“I am in contact with the teacher and trying to speak to other people where we can come up with something which will help other parents to check up and keep an eye on their children,” he added.

“Look at their phones, tablets, anything they’ve got and go through their history to see anything that’s not normal,” he said.

Following the incident at its store, Sheffield IKEA has stressed that it will be looking at measures to prevent it from happening again.

South Yorkshire Police issued a statement

These challenges are dangerous, they have serious implications, and no one should be taking part in the ’24 hour challenge’.

Detective Inspector Anna Sedgwick of South Yorkshire Police said the risks and harm that could be caused are “by no means humorous and could be catastrophic”.

She added: “Warehouses and shopping departments contain large quantities of heavy stock and items that could easily fall and crush someone if they are moved incorrectly, or used to build makeshift forts.

“As well as the safety risk, children often do this without the knowledge of their parents, which could lead to large-scale searches or even cause them to be reported as missing.

“This not only causes fear and worry for parents, friends, family and the local community but can also be a waste of valuable police time, which may be needed to respond to a life or death situation.”

 

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