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11-Year-Old Boy Dies After Participating in Trending 'Chroming' Challenge

The family wants their tragedy to bring about change

<p>Getty</p> Stock image of the top of an aerosol spray can

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Stock image of the top of an aerosol spray can
  • Tommie-Lee Gracie Billington, 11, suffered cardiac arrest after inhaling fumes as part of a "chroming" challenge

  • Chroming, also known as huffing, is when someone tries to inhale the hydrocarbons in metallic paints and other products to obtain a high

  • The family hopes Tommie's story will raise awareness of the dangerous trend

A U.K. family is in mourning after a trending online challenge resulted in a little boy's death.

Tommie-Lee Gracie Billington, 11, went into cardiac arrest and later died at a friend's Lancaster home after the two tried a social media challenge known as "chroming" during a sleepover.

Chroming — also known as huffing — involves "inhaling toxic chemicals, often from household products, to get high," per The Times of London , which reported on the boy's death.

Per National Institutes of Health (NIH), chroming is "deliberate inhalation of volatile substances (‘inhalants') [and] can cause serious harm to the integrity of the central nervous system and disrupt normal trajectories of psychological, emotional and neurobiological development"

<p>Getty</p> Stock image showing the front-facing top of an aerosol spray can

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Stock image showing the front-facing top of an aerosol spray can

Related: 13-Year-Old Australian Girl Dies from Dangerous ‘Chroming’ Trend

The boy's grandmother told the outlet, "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."

"Both our families are utterly devastated but we all want the same thing," the family member told the Times of London.

"This is breaking us all but we want to help save other children’s lives and give families awareness to keep their children safe."

<p>Getty</p> Stock image of someone spraying an aerosol spray can

Getty

Stock image of someone spraying an aerosol spray can

In Australia, chroming has also claimed the lives of several teens. Last spring, Melbourne 8th grader Esra Haynes died in a nearly identical incident.

"[It was] just a regular routine of going to hang out with her mates," her mother, Andrea, told the Australian news program A Current Affair. But while at a party, her parents say Esra inhaled chemicals from a deodorant can for a quick high, which ultimately caused her death.

If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, please contact the SAMHSA helpline at 1-800-662-HELP.

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Read the original article on People.