A CHILD psychologist has warned parents of terrifying internet “trends” after a boy strangled himself to death in a possible “choking game.”

Mason Warwick, a pupil at Varndean school in Brighton, was found dead in his bedroom in Queen’s Park Road, Brighton.

An inquest into his death heard the 12-year-old died “at his own hands” and used a bed sheet to choke himself with.

Detective Sergeant Matt Stevens, giving evidence at the inquest, said Mason had several discussions with school friends about the “choking game”, a challenge teenagers watch on the internet and practise in front of each other.

He said: “The choking game is a game where you tie something around your neck and try and stop your pulse for about ten seconds.

“Mason did have access to the internet in his room, but his parents trusted him to use it and they were unaware of the game being out there.”

After the inquest Dr Esmoreit Fleyster, of Child Psychology Sussex in Lewes, said she had heard of the challenge and warned parents of the different “games” circulating on the internet.

She said: “At this sort of age youngsters are influenced by their peers and what the latest trends are, including these “games” on the internet.

“There was one called the coast bucket challenge where youngsters would jump off Brighton Palace Pier.

“It’s about seeing who is bravest and the thrill of competing.”

She said it was important to warn parents of the “new crazes” that teenagers are talking about.

She said: “We need to look at how to encourage teachers and parents to talk about these crazes with young people in a laid-back manner and to ask open questions.

“We need to encourage a curious and open-minded approach.”

Coroner for Brighton and Hove Veronica Hamilton-Deeley told the inquest she had to take into account the choking game when looking at the cause of Mason’s death.

DS Stevens said: “There was no evidence of self-harm, or intensive bullying.

“His parents thought he had been bullied, but we didn’t find anything from the school that he was a victim of bullying.

“There were times where he had an altercation, but for this age it’s pretty common.”

Mason was described as “popular with many friends”.

He was energetic, enjoyed education and regularly told his parents he loved them, the inquest heard.

He had no record of depression or referrals to mental health services, making suicide seem unlikely, the inquest heard.

In the days leading up to Mason’s death, DS Stevens said the youngster had been acting normally.

He talked about going to see the new Marvel film.

He was last seen alive by his father at 10.30pm on March 22 when he came downstairs to their kitchen to make a cup of tea.

About an hour later, his mother returned home from work and saw the light on in his room.

She opened the door and found him lying on the floor.

She called the ambulance and began CPR.

Mason was then taken to the nearby Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital where further attempts were made to resuscitate him.

But he died at 12.09am on March 23.

Ms Hamilton-Deeley recorded Mason’s cause of death as compression of the neck.

She concluded: “Mason died when he deliberately compressed his neck with a strip of material and his intentions remain unclear.

“A young man on the threshold of his life, and from what I hear sounded like an exciting life.”

Mason’s mother Kelly Warwick said she knew her son and believed he did not take part in the choking challenge.