Schoolboy dies after taking part in ‘same viral challenge that killed Archie Battersbee’

A grieving mother has revealed how her son died in front of his friends while attempting a deadly TikTok choking challenge.

Leon Brown, of Cumbernauld, Scotland, was just 14-years-old when he was found unresponsive in his bedroom after reportedly attempting the same dangerous TikTok trend as Archie Battersbee.

His heartbroken mother, Lauryn Keating, issued a warning to fellow parents after her son’s friend revealed he had wanted to replicate the choking game after seeing it on the video-sharing app.

She claims Leon’s friends were watching him attempt the challenge via Facetime when tragedy struck and the schoolboy lost his life.

The 30-year-old told the Daily Record: ‘One of Leon’s friends told me he had been doing the challenge on Facetime with them after seeing it on TikTok.

‘Him and his friends probably thought it was a laugh and a joke. But Leon didn’t come back around. It went horribly wrong.

‘I had heard of this challenge, because of what happened to Archie. But you 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’re doing it for.’

Leon’s friends and family gathered to release balloons in his memory last week – and hope the youngster is given a standing ovation by Celtic fans at their next home game.

The club’s famous kit, signed by his friends, was left mounted on a railing at their local park following the schoolboy’s death.

Ms Keating later said she was shocked when she searched TikTok and found a trove of videos promoting similar choking games.

She said: ‘I went on TikTok and wrote out words similar to blackout challenge. The amount of video results that came up on it is ridiculous.’

The Chinese-run video sharing app claims to have removed videos of the ‘Blackout Challenge’ from its platform and has put measures in place to prevent users from sharing or searching the trend.

A TikTok spokesperson said: ‘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.’

Leon’s death comes just weeks after Archie Battersbee’s life support was removed following a protracted legal battle after the youngster had also reportedly attempted the ‘Blackout Challenge’.

The trend, which has swept across social media and encourages users to asphyxiate themselves, pass out and regain consciousness on camera, has been linked to the deaths of dozens of children in the United States.

Police are understood to be investigating whether he had taken part in the dangerous craze that is said to have killed more than 80 children since it first circulated online over a decade ago.

In July, a lawsuit was brought against TikTok by the families of two young girls in the U.S. who claim the hosting service’s ‘dangerous’ algorithms were to blame for their children’s deaths.

Tragic Archie was found unresponsive at his home in Southend, Essex on April 7 and spent months clinging to life in an induced coma.

His mother, Hollie Dance, has publicly shared her belief that Archie’s tragic case began after the schoolboy took part in an online ‘Blackout Challenge’.

She demanded household brands like TikTok and Facebook take action on dangerous challenges like the one she says killed her son – where participants strangle themselves with ligatures until they faint.

She said that ‘sick people’ are ‘grooming our children to do these challenges’ in an interview with the Mirror.

‘And it’s disgusting. The people – they’re often adults, not children – who are demonstrating these challenges are sick’, she said.

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