Boy found dead in bedroom after 'taking part in TikTok blackout challenge'
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Featured Image Credit: Lauryn Keating
Leon Brown, 14, was discovered unresponsive by his mum, Lauryn Keating, 30, at his home in Cumbernauld, Scotland, last Thursday (25 August).
The death comes after Archie Battersbee died after allegedly taking part in the same challenge, leaving him 'brain-stem dead' and resulting in a high-profile court case.
The trend sees social media users render themselves unconscious, with the CDC reporting that an early incarnation of the trend resulted in at least 82 deaths in the US.
Lauryn is now warning other parents of the dangers of the challenge, telling the Daily Record: "One of Leon's friends told me he had been doing the challenge on FaceTime with them after seeing it on TikTok.
"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."
Lauryn continued: "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. It went horribly wrong.
"I had heard of this challenge, because of what happened to Archie Battersbee.
"But you just don't expect your own child to do it. Please warn them, these online challenges aren't worth their lives.
"They aren't worth 'likes' or whatever they are doing it for."
Reflecting on her son's life, Lauryn said: "He was the happiest, funniest wee boy ever.
"He was a bit of a class clown and he liked to make people laugh. Everything was always a joke and a carry on to Leon. He was just a wee cheeky boy. But he meant so much to me."
The bereaved mother said that she has since looked up the blackout challenge on TikTok herself and was shocked at the amount of results which appeared.
"I went on TikTok and wrote out words similar to blackout challenge," she said. "The amount of video results that came up on it is ridiculous."
Archie Battersbee also sadly passed away on 6 August after the high-profile legal case instigated by his parents was ultimately unsuccessful.
While they wanted to give him more time to recover, a judge ruled it was in Archie's best interests to switch off his life support because he was brain-stem dead.
A GoFundMe has now been set up for Leon's family after his unexpected death, and you can donate here.
A TikTok spokesperson told the Tyla: "Our deepest sympathies go out to the family for their tragic loss.
"The safety of our community is our priority, and we take any claim about a dangerous challenge very seriously. Content of this nature is prohibited on our platform and would be removed if found."
A Police Scotland spokesperson said: "We were made aware of the sudden death of a 14-year-old boy at Ochilview Court in Cumbernauld around 8am on Thursday, 25 August, 2022.
"There are no suspicious circumstances surrounding his death and a report will be submitted to the Procurator Fiscal."