A 12-year-old boy in Ohio has died after attempting a viral TikTok challenge, according to his family.
Tristan Casson, 12, was participating in TikTok’s “blackout challenge,” in which social media users attempt to pass out by holding their breath, when his brothers found him unresponsive in his bedroom last week, his mom, Taylor Davis, said per Cleveland.com.
Casson was rushed to a local hospital, where he was ultimately pronounced dead.
Richmond Heights Police Chief Thomas Wetzel expressed condolences to the family, noting that an investigation into the incident was underway.
According to Bloomberg, the “blackout challenge” on TikTok has been linked to at least 15 deaths of children under 12 in the past 18 months. Davis insists that her son wasn’t suicidal, but that his asphyxiation death was a result of him following an online trend. The mother said Casson, a sixth-grade middle school student, constantly kept up with the new dances and trends on TikTok.
“He couldn’t wait for Christmas and the basketball season to start,” Davis said. “We always talked about goals, and he was excited for the future. He loved his family and his friends. He and his siblings are like peanut butter and jelly.”
Family friend, Tanisha Watson, created a GoFundMe page to help cover funeral expenses.
“I just wish that TikTok would ban these types of challenges from going around,” Watson said. “It is killing our babies.”