13-year-old hospitalised in Spain after life-threatening TikTok challenge

by Lorraine Williamson
TikTok challenge

A second-year student at IES Santa Lucía High School in Cartagena, Murcia, was hospitalised on May 9 after losing consciousness during TikTok’s so-calledblackout challenge.” 

This challenge on the social media platform has been going on for years and involves squeezing yourself (or someone else’s) throat to achieve a temporary high. In reality, chances are you’ll pass out or worse. So the latter happened to this 13-year-old boy when he did this challenge together with a classmate. 

Student Murcia did TikTok challenge together with classmate 

Sources from Murcia’s regional Ministry of Education confirm that the incident happened around 9.00 am on Tuesday morning, May 9, as students were getting ready to go on a field trip. The victim voluntarily participated in this challenge. 

As a result of suffocation, the boy fainted and his head hit the ground hard, after which he lost consciousness. Teachers on scene at the time immediately called 911 and the teen’s father. An ambulance rushed to the call and medical staff managed to bring the boy back to consciousness. Although the boy felt okay, he was taken to the hospital of Santa Lucía for observation. The regional education inspectorate has announced that it will investigate this incident and take “appropriate measures”. 

ASSSA - health insurance in Spain

Warning for stupid but dangerous TikTok challenges 

For a long time, people have been warning about life-threatening trends and challenges on TikTok, both inside and outside Spain. Not only the life-threatening blackout challenge has been imitated millions of times, videos of ladies and girls appear that they swallow their lip gloss. Last year there was also a challenge in which young people tried to pull a condom out through their nose through their mouth. 

All these videos are posted and then imitated in real life by millions of followers with all the consequences that entails. When young people are asked why they imitate this, the answer is: “Because it is on social media”. Many young people will do anything for the likes. 

Several dead and injured after blackout challenge 

Around the world, there are great concerns about TikTok’s algorithm that makes these videos easy to see for many young users. These challenges can not only be dangerous to health, but can even lead to death. Hundreds of cases have already been reported around the world. 

For example, a 12-year-old boy from Colorado Springs died after playing this strangling game. In Valencia, too, this almost led to the death of a 13-year-old boy in May 2022. In the Netherlands, a 15-year-old boy was arrested at the end of last year after he had played the blackout challenge in which he had strangled several fellow students. And in 2008, the US published a report of 82 young people who died after playing the blackout challenge. 

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