Trinidad Tobago: The 9 years old boy Emmanuel Poteon was found dead about 5.08 p.m. on Monday in the bathroom of a guest bedroom of his home along Penguin Crescent, Maloney Gardens. The death of 9 years-old Emmanuel Poteon is being linked to the TikTok blackout challenge.

He was found with a belt around his neck

The young Emmanuel was last seen alive about 2 p.m. in the house. He was in the company of his grandmother and his 13-year-old cousin.

It was said the two relatives realized young Emmanuel had gotten quiet, and went searching from him. It was not until three hours later that his body was discovered.

His phone was nearby

Police were told that the young boy may have been trying to participate in the blackout challenge on TikTok, by putting a belt around his neck and holding his breath while recording himself on his phone.

Police official

Neighbors were similarly tight-lipped, however, they all expressed sadness over the incident.

That’s a hard thing. And I know the family is taking it hard. The boy was already home a lot of the time, with the whole school closed thing, and I know his parents had to work and weren’t home as much. And then when you leave children behind their devices, you’re not thinking much further than that. So if what is being reported is true, that he was trying to do some challenge that is hard. Cause as much as you might want to, at that age, you’re honestly not going to have your eye on kids at all times.

Neighbor

After learning of the incident, the Children’s Authority of T&T dispatched its Emergency Response Team to determine if support is needed for the family.

Failed attempts were made to resuscitate him

In the death of a nine-year-old child, allegedly as a result of a TikTok challenge gone wrong, the Authority is calling on parents and guardians to be aware of popular trends on social media apps that are harmful to children. While the app TikTok has been used to share funny and informational content, there has been an increase of challenges that have been proven to be dangerous to children and in some instances caused death. Parents and guardians are advised to monitor their children’s use of devices and utilize safety settings for the internet and social media apps.

Children’s Authority of T&T

The Authority also called on parents to be mindful of trends on social media which have the potential to be harmful to children.

The Authority notes that some apps including TikTok allow parents and guardians to set time limits, filter mature and or harmful content, and disable direct messaging for accounts through the app settings with a passcode. Further, parents and guardians should hold regular conversations on the importance of not participating or imitating social media trends and or challenges due to the possibility of harm or death.

Authority Statement
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