Birmingham & Black Country

Birmingham boy, 12, died as he tried 'passing out game'

Karnel Haughton Image copyright SWNS
Image caption Karnel Haughton was found at the bottom of the stairs of his home by his mother

A boy died after accidentally choking himself as he tried to experience the sensation of passing out and coming round, an inquest heard.

Karnel Haughton, 12, from Birmingham, was found at the bottom of stairs with a ligature loosely around his neck on 1 June.

His mother found him when she returned from shopping, the inquest was told.

Coroner Emma Brown recorded a verdict of death by misadventure at Birmingham Coroner's Court.

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"This is the most tragic of deaths in extremely alarming circumstances," she said.

"Any action intending to become unconscious creates a risk of death and that death can follow very swiftly."

Image copyright Google
Image caption The court heard another pupil at Greenwood Academy needed first aid three months earlier after taking part in a choking game

Another Greenwood Academy Year Seven pupil previously required first aid after taking part in the so-called "pass out challenge", the court heard.

Choking games

Barry French, who was head teacher at the school at the time, said he called an assembly to warn about "this awful thing" after learning several pupils had taken part.

"There are so many examples of how to engage in choking games or pass out challenges where it's glamorised. It's very hard to control," he said.

"As a school, we can control access to websites such as YouTube but not at home or on mobiles. There's no stopping them from seeing this information."

Ms Brown said she would write to the Department for Education to ask on the guidance for warning about the dangers of such activity.

She also said she wanted to raise awareness among parents of the signs that their children could be taking part in similar challenges.

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