Leon Brown, 14, from Cumbernauld, UK, died after he allegedly attempted the deadly challenge that has been blamed for several deaths of teens and prepubescent kids.
A few weeks ago, Archie Battersbee, from London, was taken off life support after months in a coma allegedly caused by the same online challenge.
According to Lauryn Keating, 30, Leon's mother, she found her son unresponsive in his room at their home, on August 25.
A spokesperson for police in Cumbernauld confirmed they were notified about "the sudden death of a 14-year-old boy at Ochilview Court in Cumbernauld around 8 a.m. on Thursday, 25 August, 2022." They said, "There are no suspicious circumstances surrounding his death."
Keating said she found out later that her son had joined others in the "blackout challenge," one of several fatal trends that has been spreading through TikTok.
The "blackout challenge" is a form of self-strangulation that challenges TikTok users to see how long they can hold their breath. The challenge sounds simple but doing this could restrict oxygen to your brain and may result in seizures, serious injury, or death.
Keating said she had heard of the challenge because of what happened to Archie Battersbee. Leon's friends told her, "He had been doing the challenge on Facetime with them after seeing it on TikTok."
Keating said her son "thought he would be the one to try it first. Him and his friends probably thought it was a laugh and a joke." Unfortunately, Leon "fell unconscious and never recovered." One of Leon's friends said "they thought they would wake up."
Keating said, "You just don't expect your own child to do it." This is why she is using Leon's tragic passing as a cautionary tale to prevent other kids from suffering the same fate. Keating tells other parents to talk to their kids. "Please warn them, these online challenges aren't worth their lives." She said, "They aren't worth 'likes' or whatever they are doing it for." Ben Cost "Another child dies from viral 'blackout challenge': 'It went horribly wrong' https://nypost.com/2022/09/01/another-child-dies-from-viral-blackout-challenge-it-went-horribly-wrong/ (Sep. 01, 2022).