Teen found dead in bedroom by mum after taking part in viral ‘Blackout Challenge’

The heartbroken mum of a teenager found dead in his bedroom said he was attempting the same dangerous viral Blackout Challenge as tragic Archie Battersbee.

Lauryn Keating found Leon Brown, 14, unresponsive in his room last Thursday (August 25).

The 30-year-old, from Cumbernauld, Scotland, has issued a warning to other families about the online game, reports the Daily Record.

It comes after Archie, 12, had his life support switched off just weeks before having suffered a catastrophic brain injury.

The deadly challenge encourages people to restrict their breath until they fall unconscious.

This can cause low levels of oxygen in the brain that can lead to seizures, serious injury or death.

Mum Lauryn said: “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.

“One of the kids who he was on Facetime with told me what he had done. She said they thought they would wake up. But Leon didn’t come back around. It went horribly wrong.

“I had heard of this challenge, because of what happened to Archie Battersbee.

“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.”

Speaking of popular youngster Leon, who was a pupil at Our Lady’s High School, Lauryn said: “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.”

It is understood Leon and his friends had seen the “Blackout Challenge” on TikTok.

Lauryn added: “I went on TikTok and wrote out words similar to blackout challenge. The amount of video results that came up on it is ridiculous.”

TikTok told the Record it has put measures in place to prevent users from sharing videos on the trend and searching the term ‘Blackout Challenge’ which instead 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.

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 suffered a “catastrophic” brain injury and was placed on life support.

He passed away after his family lost a long-running legal battle to continue the treatment that was keeping him alive.

His mum Hollie Dance has publicly spoken out on her belief that Archie had participated in the Blackout Challenge.

Leon’s friends and loved ones gathered to release balloons in his memory last week.

A Celtic strip, signed with moving messages from his pals, was also mounted on a railing at their local park.

Lauryn now hopes Hoops football fans will get behind a round of applause for Leon during the 14th minute of the Old Firm match on Saturday so her much-loved son can be “14 forever”.

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.”

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “We were made aware of the sudden death of a 14-year-old boy at Ochilview Court in Cumbernauld around 8am on Thursday, August 25, 2022.

“There are no suspicious circumstances surrounding his death and a report will be submitted to the Procurator Fiscal.”