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Police issue warning over 'hiding' challenges after disappearance of Sheffield boy

Kaden Mirza
Kaden Mirza

Police officers have issued a warning about 24-hour hiding challenges - after an 11-year-old Sheffield boy went missing as part of an internet craze.

Kaden Mirza, from Nether Edge, vanished on his way home from school on Tuesday after taking up a challenge to try to hide in Ikea for 24 hours without being caught.

He was found safe and well yesterday morning, after police officers, friends and family launched a city-wide search for the youngster.

His father used Facebook to warn other parents about the current craze and now a warning has been issued by South Yorkshire Police.

Detective Inspector Anna Sedgwick said: "Too many young people this internet craze may seem like a bit of fun that is impressive on social media, however the risks and harm that could be caused are by no means humorous and could be catastrophic.

"Warehouses and shopping departments contain large quantities of heavy stock and items that could easily fall and crush someone if they are moved incorrectly, or used to build makeshift forts. There is also the potential risk of electrical faults and fires, which could have devastating consequences.

"As well as the safety risk, children often do this without the knowledge of their parents, which could lead to large scale searches or even cause them to be reported as missing. This not only causes fear and worry for parents, friends, family and the local community but can also be a waste of valuable police time, which may be needed to respond to a life or death situation.

"Work is currently ongoing with local schools and community groups, to raise awareness of the dangers of this internet challenge amongst parents and I hope by highlighting the seriousness of the craze, young people will think twice before taking part.

"As a parent myself, I’d like to appeal to fellow parents to reach out to their children and give a little guidance. A few words of advice could save your youngster's life."