Oklahoma police say a 12-year-old boy died on Monday after attempting a dangerous social media challenge from TikTok.
Police found the boy unconscious in the breezeway of the Western Oaks Apartments in the city of Bethany after midnight on Monday.
“When they got on scene, the first initial officer located the juvenile who was unresponsive,” said Bethany police Lt. Angelo Orefice to KOKO-TV.
“He wasn’t breathing and [the officer] noticed that he had ligature marks around his neck,” he explained.
The child was rushed to Oklahoma Children’s Hospital and later pronounced dead.
Police believe that the boy passed out after attempting the “black out” challenge that has been popularized on social media platforms like TikTok.
“I can’t talk in specifics, but it has led investigators to believe that this wasn’t a suicide attempt but just an accident based on a social media TikTok-type challenge,” Orefice said.
“It all basically comes down to is where a kid tries to asphyxiate themselves to the point of unconsciousness, and then once they start to gain their consciousness back is when they get a euphoria-like feeling,” he added.
Law enforcement officials have warned parents about the dangers of children being left without supervision on social media. In a separate incident in May, a 13-year-old girl suffered severe burns to her arms and neck while attempting a stunt she saw on social media involving fire. Another dangerous TikTok challenge involved causing a spark to shoot from electrical sockets.
A TikTok spokesperson said in a statement to the New York Post that such challenges are against their guidelines.
“As we make clear in our Community Guidelines, we do not allow content that encourages, promotes, or glorifies dangerous challenges that might lead to injury, and we remove reported behavior or activity that violates our guidelines,” the statement read.
Lt. Orefice concluded that more parental guidance is needed.
“Kids are bored, and they’re trying new things,” he said. “And parents really have to start watching their social media.”
Here’s a local news report about the lethal incident:
Police warn parents of deadly TikTok challenge following Bethany boy’s death www.youtube.com
Read the full post at The Blaze.