A 10-year-old girl from Sicily, Italy has been declared brain-dead after attempting the dangerous “Blackout Challenge” popularised on TikTok.
This challenge, also known as the “pass-out challenge” or “the choking game” dares participants to choke themselves until they briefly pass out. This restricts oxygen to the brain and can result in fainting, seizures and even brain damage and death.
According to local reports, the girl had tied a belt around her neck and accidentally asphyxiated herself on Thursday, January 21. Her five-year-old sister discovered her unconscious in the bathroom with her cellphone. She was rushed to a hospital in Palermo in cardiac arrest, and doctors tried to save her but were unsuccessful. She was soon declared brain-dead.
Her parents took her off life support and have donated her organs.
Italian authorities have opened an investigation into her accidental death, and have imposed an immediate temporary block on TikTok’s access to data for users with unverified ages until February 15.
TikTok users are encouraged to report any accounts engaging in the challenge.