MIRROR Online: LONDON, England, By Susie Beever – A boy who died after ‘taking part in a sleepover social media craze’ had been “inhaling toxic substances” his family said as an inquest opened into the youngster’s death.

      Tommie-Lee Gracie Billington was at a friend’s sleepover at a house in Lancaster, Lancashire, when he became unresponsive. The 11-year-old was rushed to hospital but was tragically pronounced dead on Saturday, March 2.

      Grandmother Tina Burns has said Tommie-Lee was taking part in a social media trend at the time, which involves “sniffing or inhaling toxic fumes”. During the inquest opening at Preston coroners court on Tuesday it was heard how his friend had told his mother he lost consciousness after “inhaling toxic substances”, BBC reports.

      ‘Chroming’, also known as ‘huffing’, is a trend on social media platforms which involves inhaling the fumes of noxious substances such as nail polish remover and aerosols. Although not a new trend, it has recently gained attention through virsal trends on social media platforms.

      The grandmother of Tommie-lee Gracie Billington, pictured with dad Graham, spoke out

      The grandmother of Tommie-lee Gracie Billington, pictured with dad Graham, spoke out – Image: Facebook

      Coroner Kate Bissett confirmed there were no suspicious circumstances in Tommie-lee’s death. It was heard how his mother, Sherri Ann Gracie, identified her son at Lancaster Royal Infirmary.

      Police meanwhile said they were treating Tommie-Lee’s death as unexplained, with the claim about inhaling toxic substances as one possible line of enquiry. A brief hearing was opened and adjourned on Tuesday, with a full inquest scheduled for June 6.

      In a tribute to her grandson, Ms Burns said she had “never felt pain like this”. Writing on Facebook, she added: “I will make sure to the best of my ability that your name and your beautiful face will become the reason that other children’s lives will be saved and other families don’t have to suffer this deep, deep hurt.”

      The grandmother described him as a ‘bright, energetic boy’ who brought fun into any room. She said: “He had a heart of gold just like his dad. Our family is utterly devastated.” Tommie-Lee lived with his mum Sherri in Lancaster, while his dad Graham’s family lives in Clayton-le-Woods and South Ribble in Lancashire. Tina shared that both sides of the family want to warn others about the dangers.

      The teaching assistant stated: “Both our families are utterly devastated but we all want the same thing. We don’t want any other children to follow TikTok or be on social media. In fact, we want to get TikTok taken down and no children to be allowed on any social media under 16 years of age.

      Tommie-Lee’s mum Sherri has pleaded with parents to ‘hide all deodorants from their children’ after her heartbreaking loss. She posted on Facebook: “As much as I hate talking about it, I need to raise awareness of what kids are trying nowadays. Please, please, please hide all deodorants from your children. This cost my son his life from trying something other kids are doing. They are using this and breathing them in to try get a buzz.”

      More than £4,000 has been donated to a fundraiser to help with funeral costs. A TikTok spokesperson told The Mirror previously that there was no evidence to suggest ‘chroming’ was specifically linked to their platform or that it became popular through their site.

      Tommie-Lee Gracie Billington died after he was found unresponsive at a sleepover in what’s claimed was a social media trend attempt gone wrong – Image: Facebook