Mum's fury after teen son dies attempting viral TikTok challenge

·News Reporter
·2-min read

A 14-year-old boy is the latest victim of the TikTok blackout challenge after he was found dead in his bedroom after attempting the viral trend.

The dangerous social media stunt encourages users to choke themselves until passing out, but Leon Brown, from Cumbernauld in Scotland, died on August 25 after he was found unresponsive, his mum Lauryn Keating said.

The alarming trend has already seen the death of others including nine-year-old Arriani Jaileen Arroyo, from the US state of Wisconsin, who died by "self-strangulation".

She was found "hanging by her dog’s leash" by her five-year-old brother after participating in the challenge when she became "obsessed" with TikTok.

Lauryn Keating is speaking out against the TikTok blackout challenge after her 14-year-old son Leon Brown allegedly died while trying it. Source: Twitter
Lauryn Keating is speaking out against the TikTok blackout challenge after her 14-year-old son Leon Brown allegedly died while trying it. Source: Twitter

Speaking with local media, Ms Keating said a friend of her son's told her he was doing the challenge before he passed out, but it "went horribly wrong."

"My Leon thought he would be the one to try it first. Him and his friends probably thought it was a laugh and a joke,” she told the UK publication Daily Record.

"One of the kids who he was on Facetime with told me what he had done.

"She said they thought they would wake up. But Leon didn’t come back around."

She's now hoping other parents won't have to experience the same heartache and she's warning about the dark side of the social media platform, particularly the blackout challenge trend.

Mum's plea to ban TikTok challenges

Following her son's death, Ms Keating said she went on TikTok to search for the trend and the "amount of video results that came up on it is ridiculous."

"These Tiktok challenges should be banned and hopefully retweeting this and sharing my story can save at least 1 other child’s life," she Tweeted on Thursday.

A TikTok spokesperson told the publication that any claim about a dangerous challenge is taken "very seriously."

"Content of this nature is prohibited on our platform and would be removed if found," the statement read.

A GoFundMe page has also been set up for the family with hopes to raise the equivalent of $10,000.

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