A teenager Scottish school boy was found dead in his bedroom. He was taking part in a dangerous viral TikTok blackout challenge. Leon Brown, 14, was unresponsive when he was discovered by his mother Lauryn Keating, 30, at their home in Cumbernauld, North Lanarkshire Dunbartonshire, Scotland on August 25.

Lauryn wanted other parents to be aware of the blackout challenge

She later learned he had attempted the same shocking challenge that is believed to have caused 12-year-old Archie Battersbee to suffer a fatal brain injury that later led to his death. Mum Lauryn has been left devastated by her son’s death and has issued a desperate warning to other families about the online game.

One of Leon’s friends told me he had been doing the challenge on Facetime with them after seeing it on TikTok. My Leon thought he would be the one to try it first. Him and his friends probably thought it was a laugh and a joke.They thought they would wake up. But Leon didn’t come back around. It went horribly wrong. But you just don’t expect your own child to do it. Please warn them, these online challenges aren’t worth their lives. They aren’t worth ‘likes’ or whatever they are doing it for. He was the happiest, funniest wee boy ever. He was a bit of a class clown and he liked to make people laugh. Everything was always a joke and a carry on to Leon. He was just a wee cheeky boy. But he meant so much to me.

Lauryn Keating – Mum

The tragedy of Leon’s death comes just weeks after Archie Battersbee died on August 6. Archie was also found unconscious by his mother Hollie Dance at his home in Essex in April this year. The young boy had suffered a catastrophic brain injury and was placed on life support.

TikTok’s response

TikTok told it has measures in place to prevent users from sharing videos on the trend and searching the term blackout challenge takes users to a safety centre on the app. Users are also able to report any videos that contain graphic content. TikTok also deletes videos of the challenge from the platform.

Our deepest sympathies go out to Leon Brown’s family during this incredibly difficult time. The safety of our community is our priority and we take any claim about a dangerous challenge very seriously. Content of this nature is prohibited on our platform and would be removed if found.

TikTok Spokesperson

Police response

We were made aware of the sudden death of a 14-year-old boy at Ochilview Court in Cumbernauld around 8am on Thursday, 25 August, 2022. There are no suspicious circumstances surrounding his death and a report will be submitted to the Procurator Fiscal.

Police – Scotland
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