Police have warned parents about a new craze that sees kids hiding in IKEA.
In what’s become known as the 24-Hour Challenge, members of the public are encouraging each other to camp out and build a fort in one of the furniture giant’s stores, before attempting to leave the premises unseen the following morning.
The trend hit the headlines earlier this week after an 11-year-old boy from Sheffield vanished on the way home from school and allegedly spent the night in IKEA.
He was found safe and well the following day but his father described the incident as ‘a very rough time’ for the family.
In a bid to halt the 24-Challenge from spreading any further, police have now issued a statement targeting mums and dads.
The worrying IKEA craze comes a few weeks after parents were warned about the dangerous Tide Pod Challenge
‘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,’ said Detective Inspector Anna Sedgwick of South Yorkshire Police.
She went on to say that the craze is ‘by no means humorous and could be catastrophic’ and highlighted that youngsters need to be made aware of the seriousness of their actions.
‘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,’ she continued.
‘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.’
Another dangerous trend to have gained traction among youths via social media in recent weeks is the Tide Pod Challenge, which sees individuals eating laundry detergent capsules and filming the footage for YouTube.