Police in the U.K. have issued a warning to teens and parents. They're discouraging kids from taking part in a new challenge that involves spending a night in large retail stores, including Ikea.
According to the police statement, the "24-Hour Fort Challenge" encourages children and teens to "hide and build forts in large stores and warehouses overnight, before sneaking out the next morning."
The trend got its start in 2016 after Belgian YouTubers Bakuna Fatata filmed themselves spending the night inside an Ikea.
After the video went viral, the Ikea challenge started cropping up on social media:
And it spread to stores other than Ikea:
Police issued the warning after 11-year-old Kaden Mirza from Sheffield, UK, failed to come home from school one day. His parents reported him missing, and Mirza was found the next day after spending the night in Ikea.
The boy's father took to Facebook and posted his own warning to all parents:
The internet is tired of these weird fads that challenge kids to risk their safety:
What happened to spending Friday night at the mall and the movies?
Sheffield Detective Inspector Anna S
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 consequence... 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.
We couldn't agree more. Knock it off, kids.