A mother who said her son died after attempting a viral challenge has issued a warning to parents and teens about the danger of the Tik Tok trend.
Lauryn Keating said she found her 14-year-old son Leon Brown unresponsive in his room at their home in Cumbernauld, North Lanarkshire on 25 August.
He later learned that he had tried the “blackout challenge,” a viral trend believed to have caused the brain injury that led to the death of 12-year-old Archie Battersbee last month.
In the latest iteration of a dangerous challenge, children film themselves holding their breath until they pass out from lack of oxygen before sharing the videos on social media.
He has been charged with several deaths so far, and some parents have sued the TikTok video sharing app for claiming that the platform’s algorithm promotes videos from other people doing the “blackout challenge.”
After hearing that Leon had died because he accepted the challenge, Ms. Keating wrote a post on Facebook in which she warned that any child who took part in the trend was in danger of unintentionally killing themselves.
She said, “I need every teenager and every parent to see and understand the dangers of these Tiktok challenges.
“A challenge is not worth your life, a few likes on social media are not worth your life.
“My son (I’m sure all his friends will agree) was the clown of the class, he was happy, he was kind, he loved to make everyone laugh but above all he didn’t want to die.
“No parent should see what I have seen, no parent should experience who I am because of some stupid trend. Even if this saves a child’s life, it is worth sharing ”.
Mrs Keating told ScotlandDaily log that one of his son’s friends said he saw Leon take the challenge on FaceTime.
He told the paper, “One of Leon’s friends told me he had done the FaceTime challenge with them after seeing it on TikTok.
“My Leon thought he would be the one to try it first. He and his friends probably thought it was a laugh and a joke.
“One of the guys he was with on FaceTime told me what he had done. He said they thought they were going to wake up. But Leon didn’t go back. He has gone terribly wrong ”.
She added: “I went to TikTok and wrote words similar to the blackout challenge. The amount of video results that emerged is ridiculous. “
Leon’s death occurred a few weeks after Archie Battersbee was taken off life support on August 6.
The 12-year-old died after months of legal battles that ended with a judge ruling that doctors could legally end life-support care for the boy despite his family’s objections.
Archie’s mother Hollie Dance blamed the “blackout challenge” for the brain damage that led to her death and hit social media companies for not doing enough to deter dangerous content from their platforms.
TikTok was sued in May by the family of Nylah Anderson, a 10-year-old girl who died in the United States last December after attempting the challenge.
Lalani’s parents Erika Renee Walton, eight, and Arriani Jaileen Arroyo, nine, filed a lawsuit in July after their daughters died after attempting the challenge.