A little boy passed out, fell and hit his head playing a fainting game with older pupils at his Auckland school.

Trent Mataroa, 10, had two days off school and was plagued by dizziness and headaches after the incident, prompting his mother to warn other parents about the game - which people have died from in the past.

Trent was at Glenbrae School in Glen Innes on Tuesday morning when the incident happened. He was invited to play a game called "blackout" with some older boys before class started for the day.

He later told his mother Tepaeru what had happened.


"The older child made him take deep breaths quickly, over and over and then he fainted and they pushed him over," she said.

"He was out for a while. His friends were trying to wake him up and when he came around his eyes were all blurry and he had no idea what had happened."

Trent was taken to the sick bay and then sent on to class. However he was still feeling poorly so his mother was called.

"They said he wasn't feeling well, that he fainted and I had to come and get him." Mrs Mataroa told the Herald.

"They said he had an accident. I thought maybe he was just dehydrated and that was why he fainted. I got to the school and I was shocked when I saw him.

"He had grazes all over his face, he looked like he had been in a car accident. I took him to the doctor and no one could work out why he had fainted."

Mrs Mataroa took Trent home and was keeping a close eye on him as she suspected he had concussion. Later that night he told her about the game and she was furious.

She said no one at the school had mentioned it. She spoke to the principal and deputy the next day and they addressed her concerns with the other pupils involved and the rest of the school.


Mrs Mataroa was angry her little boy had been coerced into playing such a dangerous game.

"I was horrified. It could have been so much worse, it could have been a very different outcome. I was talking to people at my work about it and they said 'oh that game, people died playing that'. I had never heard of it until then."

Mrs Mataroa wanted other parents and schools to educate children about the dangers of the game, and others similar.

"I need to warn parents, this is a very dangerous game. It is very scary," she said.
She believed the children had learned about the game on television but her son was not familiar with it until Tuesday.

"With all the things happening in the world and the things kids see on TV, parents really have to educate their children. This game should never be played."

Trent is feeling better now but Mrs Mataroa said he had a few days of headaches.

She said he had learned his lesson the hard way and now knew not to be peer pressured into things by other children unless he knew what it was all about.

"We are just lucky he came out of this ok. I told him that his brain needs oxygen and if it doesn't get it you can end up dead or with permanent brain damage. I just want other parents to do the same," she said.

Glenbrae School principal Lesley Elia told Stuff.co.nz that the matter had been dealt with.

She said it was likely the boys saw the game on the internet or on television and was a one-off incident. Steps had been put in place to ensure there were no repeats.

Mrs Elia said all pupils had been warned of the dangers and told not to play the game.

At least two children have died due to similar activities. In 2010 a UK Coroner ruled that a 13-year-old boy had likely died as a result of playing a choking game.

A year earlier in Tauranga a Coroner ruled that a 12-year-old boy who died strangulation was experimenting with a similar fainting game in his bedroom.