A schoolyard game that involves young people choking themselves to get a sudden rush is thought to be behind the death of a 12-year-old Tauranga boy.
His mother now wants other parents to warn their children of the risks of playing what is known as the "choking game" or "fainting game".
"Our son was the last person you could ever imagine this would happen to," the mother said after an inquest into her son's death last week.
The coroner has kept the boy's name and school a secret but said the benefits of publishing the details of his death as a warning to parents outweighed the concern of "copycat" deaths.
His mother told the Bay of Plenty Times it was important to talk about the issue as her son's death was "very much out of character".
"He was highly intelligent and if this tragedy can find its way into my son's world, then it can find itself into anybody's. No one is exempt.
"I don't want another parent to ever have to go through what we have had to," she said.
The court heard evidence that one evening last year her son had gone upstairs to change his clothes.
When his mother went upstairs to call him down to watch television she found him hanging from a bedpost at the end of his bed with a strap around his neck.
Lengthy attempts at resuscitation proved unsuccessful.
There was no evidence of a history of mental illness or self-harm.
The boy was a gifted and talented teenager who had many interests including sports and music.
Detective Peter Sweeney, who investigated the death, found no evidence of foul play and stated in his report to the coroner that it appeared the deceased was experimenting with how far he could push himself before starting to feel light-headed and had unintentionally asphyxiated himself.
The "fainting game", also known as the "choking game", is the practice in which a person attempts to self-strangulate using ropes, scarves or other items in order to achieve a brief high.
The high is the result of oxygen rushing back to the brain.
The pathologist who performed the post-mortem examination confirmed the cause of death was asphyxia due to strangulation.
Coroner Wallace Bain ruled the death was not the result of suicide, or an attempt at it, and the chances this "outstanding young man" was experimenting playing the "choking game" was something not able to be ruled out at this stage.
"If he was, what possessed such a gifted and talented child to do what he did we may never know," Dr Bain told the boy's parents.
In a letter to the coroner, the mother of the boy's best friend wrote that his death just made "no sense to her or her son".
He loved life to the full and saw the world as a place "full of possibility and fun", she wrote.
The deceased's mother said their research had since revealed her son fitted the profile of someone at risk of playing the choking game - he was a high achiever, a homebody, played by the rules, did not engage in illegal activities such as underage drug and alcohol use and was in the vulnerable age group, the median age being 13 years.
Her son did not have a mobile phone or access to the internet and therefore, the idea must have come through word of mouth so it was vital parents talked to their children about the risks, she said.