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Archie Battersbee's mum calls for laws to stop dangerous online 'challenge' videos

Emma Guinness

Published 
| Last updated 

Archie Battersbee's mum calls for laws to stop dangerous online 'challenge' videos

Featured Image Credit: PA Images/Alamy Stock Photo

Archie Battersbee's mum is calling for new laws to stop dangerous online challenges after one reportedly resulted in his death.

The schoolboy, 12, was found unconscious at his home in April after allegedly taking part in the 'blackout challenge', which encourages people to render themselves unconscious.

Hollie, 46, from Southend, Essex, said that children are being 'groomed' by the challenges which gain popularity on platforms like TikTok.

She told LBC yesterday (August 21) that 'more needs to be done' to protect 'vulnerable' children from engaging in potentially deadly challenges.

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"Prosecution wise, I think maybe the adults that are uploading the videos for the kids to copy, I think they need to be targeted a bit more," she said.

Archie was in a coma for months. Credit: PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo.
Archie was in a coma for months. Credit: PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo.

"One of the videos I watched was an adult, in his 30s, tying a rope round his neck and pulling it tight. Kids are watching that. I don't know what these adults are thinking at the time."

Hollie has called for a public enquiry into the challenges and has written to the Health Secretary, Steve Barclay.

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Archie died earlier this month after suffering from catastrophic brain damage that left him in a coma.

While his family engaged in a lengthy legal battle in a bid to give him more time to recover, it was ruled that his life support should be switched off as he was 'brain stem dead'.

The Christian Legal Centre released the details of Hollie's letter to the Health Secretary, in which she wrote she wants to work together so 'no other family has to go through this.'

The grieving mother also called for a change in the law for the media so that cases like Archie's can't be so widely reported on.

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Hollie Dance, Archie Battersbee's mum, fought a lengthy legal battle to give him more time to recover. Credit: PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo.
Hollie Dance, Archie Battersbee's mum, fought a lengthy legal battle to give him more time to recover. Credit: PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo.

"There should be a comprehensive public inquiry into the operation of this system; and then a change of the law to protect the grieving families from cruelty." she said.

Despite asking for Archie to be removed to a hospice to pass away, he died at the Royal London Hospital on August 6 as it was deemed too risky to move him.

Hollie told The Mirror: "The morning Archie died, I told him how much I loved him.

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"At midday they took his pipe out. It took 15 minutes for his heart to stop. There was nothing 'dignified' about his death.

"It was heartbreaking, watching your child suffocate. That image will never, ever leave me."

Hollie said the blackout challenge has been in existence for around 14 years and has been linked to around 82 deaths.

Topics: News

Emma Guinness
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