What is the Blackout Challenge? Dangerous social media trend takes children’s lives

Mother warns against dangerous blackout challenge tiktok6abc Philadelphia, YouTube

Parents are warning users about a dangerous trend circling social media apps that resulted in the death of a 10-year-old girl after she participated in what is known as the ‘Blackout Challenge.’

When it comes to social media, trends are king. From spawning dances to songs and even recipes for baked feta pasta, social media apps are a huge part of getting things to go viral.

However, some of these challenges are better left alone — in August, TikTok began deleting Milk Crate Challenge videos after one too many participants took a trip to the hospital.

It seems yet another life-threatening challenge is circling social platforms this holiday season… one that took the life of a 10-year-old girl.

TikTok dangerous blackout challenge results in deathUnsplash.com: Solen Feyissa
Social media apps like TikTok are home to a slew of viral trends – but one of these trends has resulted in the deaths of multiple children.

What is the Blackout Challenge?

The ‘Blackout Challenge’ dares users to see how long they can hold their breath before passing out.

Although the trend has garnered popularity on social media apps like TikTok, this challenge has been around for quite some time. Studies report that between 1995 – 2007, 82 children were fatally injured after trying the dare.

For one Pennsylvanian mother, this challenge resulted in the tragic passing of her 10-year-old daughter, Nylah Anderson — and she wants to warn other parents about the dangers the challenge can pose for kids.

“Make sure you’re checking your kids’ phones,” she said. “Just pay attention, because you never know what you might find.”

Licensed clinical social worker Elizabeth Wood claimed that Nylah was in her bedroom when she tried the challenge. “No one was in the bedroom with her when this happened, so there was no one there to save her.”

Nylah’s family rushed her to the hospital, but she did not survive.

This is far from the first time the Blackout Challenge has taken a young life. In July, a 12-year-old boy passed away after attempting the challenge, while in February, the Italian government blocked access to the app after the death of a 10-year-old girl was linked to the dare.

Family warns against dangerous tiktok blackout challenge6abc Philadelphia, YouTube
10-year-old Nylah Anderson passed away after reportedly trying TikTok’s viral Blackout Challenge.

The CDC has shared warning signs that can hint if someone is attempting the challenge, which includes “bloodshot eyes,” “marks on the neck,” and “severe headaches.”

TikTok responds to Blackout Challenge

TikTok has now taken efforts to prevent users from taking part in the trend. After searching for “blackout challenge” on the app, they are met with a message that says: “Learn how to recognize harmful challenges and hoaxes.”

TikTok blackout challenge search resultsTikTok
TikTok is no longer serving search results for the Blackout Challenge.

“This disturbing ‘challenge,’ which people seem to learn about from sources other than TikTok, long predates our platform and has never been a TikTok trend,” a TikTok spokesperson said in response to this latest tragedy.

“We remain vigilant in our commitment to user safety and would immediately remove related content if found. Our deepest sympathies go out to the family for their tragic loss.”

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