TikTok tap out challenge: Mum’s warning to parents as her son is almost killed after being 'forced' into game
Police are investigating what happened and said “incidents such as this are taken seriously”
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Lisa Hill, aged 43, said her 10-year-old son Kaie Wilmott “turned blue and purple” when other youngsters made him take part in the game, which involves people holding each other in a choke hold, on Monday 7 August. She told SWNS new agency that she heard it was part of a trend children had seen on popular social media site TikTok.
Following the incident Lisa took to her Facebook page to warn other parents about the game. She wrote: “This game is extremely dangerous and can cause serious injury or even death. The way I felt, and still feel, after learning what happened to my boy has shook me to the core. If I can help prevent this happening again by sharing my story then it is the right thing to share this about this ‘new game’.”
Hill added that police are involved and investigations into the incident are on-going, although she also criticised the police for their approach to the case.
So, what exactly is the tap out challenge, what exactly happened to Kaie Willmott and what has been the police response to the incident? Here’s what you need to know.
Warning: Please do not take part in the challenge described in this article as it could cause serious harm and may even be fatal.
What is the TikTok tap out challenge?
The tap out challenge involves one person choking another person- until they 'tap out' to tell the other player to stop, usually by literally tapping the ground.
It’s unclear why people are playing this game, but it has similarities with the blackout challenge and the scarf challenge, both of which involve people holding their breath for extended periods of time. All three of these challenges can have devastating consequences as each one can lead to the oxygen supply to the brain being cut off, which can lead to seizures, brain damage and even death.
Although Hill has said this is a new trend, it is thought that this is just the latest version of a supposed game which has been played by children for many decades.
What happened to Kaie Wilmott?
Hill claims her son was forced to take part in the challenge against his will as he played in a field near his home in Chesterfield, Derbyshire. She said he was asked by others to play the game but when he refused he was attacked by another older boy, who pinned him to the ground on his stomach and held his arms down, and forced him to take part.
The other boy, who has not been named, then allegedly proceeded to strangle Kaie as he turned blue before his two cousins managed to stop the attack. Other children from the group had supposedly tried to help get the boy off Kaie but they were chased away by two other teenagers who “found the game entertaining”.
Hill, of Chesterfield, said she “felt sick” when she heard what had happened to her young son. She said: “When he came back home and told me what happened it sent my blood running cold. My son could have died, or I could have been sitting at his side in intensive care because he could be critically ill.
"He mentioned this game to me three or four weeks before and I sat with him and got him to explain in detail what this game actually was. I told him he wasn't allowed to play but the kids did not listen when he told them that.
"I imagine my son is not the only child that this has happened to. I want to raise awareness that this game is still circulating, how dangerous it is, and what repercussions can come from playing it.”
Hill has now warned other mums, dads and carers about the dangerous TikTok trend after Kaie went through the “near-death experience”.
What have the police said about the incident?
Hill has criticised Derbyshire police for failing to act after being told an officer would not be able to come out to see herself and her son until 11 days after the incident. She said she called the police on Wednesday 9 August, but said she did not hear anything back from them so she decided to ring the officers again on Sunday (13 August).
She was then told that the case wasn't allocated to the officer until the day before (Saturday 12 August), and the officer who was allocated the case was away from the office for the next four days. Hill then received an email on Tuesday (15 August) from the officer to say she would not be back at work until Friday (18 August).
Hill said: “I was told by officers that this case was a priority case, because of the nature of what happened. But going from 9 August when I reported the incident, until 18 August, that's nine days when nothing is getting done. And I don't think it's good enough.
“If it was adults who had done this the police would have been out virtually straightaway. Because it's children, I feel that they're not taking it seriously. But when this happened, my boy went blue and purple and could have died. This case could very well have been a murder case.
“You go to the police because they have an authority figure. And you expect the police to be able to deal with these situations appropriately and accordingly. And I was told that this case was a priority yet nothing has been done.
“I appreciate it wasn't the officer’s fault, but why would they assign this case to an officer who only works nights and has four days off? How are they supposed to contact me in order to get this situation sorted? It doesn’t make sense at all. I’m sure it could have been assigned to a different officer.”
Derbyshire Police responded to Hill’s criticisms and apologised to Hill, saying they were sorry she had “not received the level of service that she expected”. The full statement from the force read: “We received a report on 9 August 9 that a child had been assaulted off Kinder Road by another child on 7 August. All incidents are graded based on the threat and risk that is posed.
"With this incident having taken place two days prior, and the mother of the child confirming that her child was safeguarded an officer was assigned to the incident on August 12 and then made contact with the mother on 15 August.
“We are sorry that the mother has not received the level of service that she expected and we will be making contact to understand her concerns in order to improve our response. Incidents such as this are taken seriously and a proportionate investigation will be carried out.”