Parent's warning over IKEA 'hiding craze' after boy, 11, went missing for a night

A dad has issued a warning to other parents after his 11-year-old son vanished for a night, only to be found the next day hiding in IKEA.

The young boy, who hails from Sheffield in the UK, is believed to have been taking part in a bizarre online challenge, called: "Stay Inside IKEA Overnight and Not Be Discovered."

The craze sees kids creep into the shop just before it closes and hide somewhere where security won’t see them, until the doors are locked at night.

IKEA stores

A dad has issued a warning to other parents after his 11-year-old son vanished for a night, only to be found the next day hiding in IKEA. Photo: Getty Images

Then, they post videos from inside the massive warehouse-style shop, to prove that they have completed the 24-hour challenge.

However, when one boy simply vanished after school this week, his father decided to come forward to reveal what actually happened.

“A few weeks ago, I saw on his mobile history where he searched for '24hrs stay in school and go undetected',” the boy’s dad told the Mirror.

"He's been watching videos and checking the web for all this and then deleting it and never left a clue.

“He planned it quite well.”

The concerned dad went on to urge anyone to report it to police if they see children out-and-about on their own in shopping centres or IKEA.

Inside IKEA

The boy was found the next day after spending the night hiding out and posting videos from an IKEA store in Sheffield. Photo: Getty Images


Speaking in a statement to Metro, a spokesperson said that IKEA would be stepping up their security in light of the recent challenge appearing online.

"At IKEA, the safety and security of our customers is one of our highest priorities," the statement started.

"We appreciate that people want to create fun experiences with us, but we do not allow this kind of activity to take place in our stores.

"We are constantly reviewing our security procedures to better prevent these incidents from happening."

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