10-Year-Old Girl Dies After Taking Part In Dangerous TikTok Challenge
The girl's mother warned parents to check their kids' phones.
December 22, 2021 at 6:00 pm
A Pennsylvania family is mourning the death of their 10-year-old daughter who participated in the TikTok "blackout challenge" that was shared on the social media app.
The challenge calls for TikTok followers to hold their breaths until they blackout while recording themselves, in hopes of increasing their views to obtain viral notoriety.
Nylah Anderson took part in the dangerous challenge while in her bedroom at her family's Chester home and was later found unresponsive on Dec. 12. The preteen was immediately transported to the local hospital, but she was declared deceased.
Now, Nylah's family is cautioning parents to heavily monitor their children's cellphones because they were unaware that their daughter would find such a challenge intriguing.
“Make sure you check your kids’ phones,” Tawainna Anderson, Nylah's mother, told ABC 7.
“You never know what you might find on their phones. You wouldn’t think 10 year olds would try this. They’re trying because they’re kids and they don’t know better,” she said as tears streamed down her grieving face. "This is a pain that won't go away. It's at the top of my throat. I am so hurt."
Nylah is at least the fifth child documented to die while engaging in the "blackout challenge" this year, according to the New York Post.
Medical experts said that intentionally restricting oxygen from the body can result in cardiac arrest and other dismal medical consequences like life-threatening organ damage, including brain damage.
"She was a butterfly. She was everything. She was a happy child," Tawainna said of her daughter who spoke three languages, ABC7 reports.
TikTok said it is implementing preventive measures to ensure harmful video footage is not shared with users, the New York Post reports. When searching for the "blackout challenge" on the social media platform, a cautionary message pops up. The company provides users with the option to report videos related to the challenge.
In a statement shared with Blavity, TikTok called the challenge "disturbing."
“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,” a TikTok spokesperson said.
The hazardous stunt existed before the advent of social media. It was a trending fad in the 1990s known as the "the choke challenge" or "the fainting game" and was spread by word of mouth. But now with technology, the deadly antic can spread at a rapid pace, Insider reports.