A grieving mum is highlighting a deadly ‘choking game’ online craze which claimed the life of her 14 year-old son.
Tragic Jack Pickles died as he played the game – also known as ‘the good boys game’ – in his bedroom in February.
It encourages people to cut off their airway so they feel a quick, euphoric rush – but it can easily prove fatal or trigger lasting damage.
His mum Selina Booth believes he copied it after seeing it on the internet and is now planning to set up a charity and give talks to schools about the dangers of it.
She said: “They call it the ‘good boys game’ because it’s not taking drugs or alcohol. They actually think it’s not going to harm them.
“But I don’t call it the choking game. I call it Lose. Because you lose your life and we lose you.
“Don’t think it’s safe because it causes seizures, hemorrhages, memory loss and there are kids in comas because of it.
“If you are playing it now my message to you is to stop. You can stop because it’s not an addiction. Stop before it’s too late.
“Do you want it to be your mum who hugs clothes that you’re not in anymore just to smell you? Do you want your mum to ask your mates around so she feels that little bit closer to you?”
She added: “Jack was my best friend. We just did everything together – shopping, wrestling, holidays and days out.
“He was just funny. He was always doing something, whether it was eating silly food or telling jokes. He loved football, especially going to watch Burnley.”
Selina found her son lying dead in his bedroom in Todmorden, West Yorks., on February 2.
An inquest recorded an accidental death verdict and Selina said the day her son died was the day her life as she knew it ended.
She said: “Jack loved YouTube. He had his own site on there. I think that’s where he found that choking game.
“Statistics show that the first or second attempt is when they die from it.
“We definitely think this was the first time with Jack because there were no warning signs.”
Selina said she planned to go to the very top, including Downing Street, to raise awareness of the craze.
She vowed: “I will get the Chief Coroner’s Office knowing about this game, the police knowing about this game, schools knowing about this game and doctors knowing about this game.
“At the moment they don’t even know the warning signs.
“The Americans have Games Adolescents Shouldn’t Play but over here there’s nothing.
“I would like a charity in Jack’s name so no other parents go through what I’m going through. Or if they are then a place they can come turn to.
“I just need help in fundraising it and getting it there.
“There’s lots that needs stopping really. I don’t want another kid going down as a suicide because of this game.
“It’s not fair on anyone who got the suicide verdict. We got accidental death because the Coroner was aware of this game.”
She highlighted warning signs for parents to look out for, including bloodshot eyes, marks on the neck, moles that are bleeding, participants locking themselves in their rooms or wanting to be alone more, participants covering their necks, and hearing loud bangs in the night.
Chloe Dunlevy, 15, who was Jack’s first girlfriend, said: “We just want to raise awareness about the choking game and stop people doing it.”
Jack left behind a brother and sister Tommy and Maeve, mum Selina, dad John, step dad Dave and step mum Kate, as well as hundreds of friends.