On Wednesday, parents in Manchester, UK were alerted about a “Dangerous New Craze” in their playgrounds.
According to the Manchester Police Facebook post, a new school yard game known as “sleeper” had caused one child to be hospitalized.
Older children are covering the mouths and noses of younger children and causing them to pass out from lack of oxygen or “go to sleep,” according to law enforcement.
The Manchester Evening News reports that police were alerted after a local school teacher in the Collyhurst neighbourhood informed them to the so-called schoolyard prank.
The full statement reads:
Dangerous New Craze Warning
Attention all parents/guardians…
We have received reports of a new craze called ‘Sleeper’ This involves children completely covering the mouth and noses of younger children until they completely pass out
This is extremely dangerous, a child is currently in hospital being treated after falling victim to this game. Please advise every child you know and warn them of the dangers, this could easily lead to concussion or even death.
Parents are being encouraged to warn their children about the game.
And while many parents were scandalized by what some were insisting was “attempted murder,” others were quick to point out that this is not a new “prank,” simply an old activity for a new generation:
“Sleeper” is similar to other pass out games that teens and children have long played with one another.
In 2005, an asphyxiation game went viral in the US where middle schoolers were choking themselves or their friends to feel the euphoric high of oxygen returning to their brains. Whether it was at the hands of their classmates or with belts, ropes, and even bicycle locks, the game ended up causing the deaths of three teens in 2005, according to TODAY.
Pass out games again gained national attention after two Chicago teens accidentally killed themselves while attempting to feel a high in 2010, as did a California-based teen in 2012.
And just last year there were parents and doctors concerned about an asphyxiation game going viral in Florida.
At the time of the post, the condition for the child who was hospitalized for playing the “sleeper” game has not been released. Business Insider has reached out to the Manchester Police and will update if we hear back.
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