Nate Squires Amherst Mass 8th grade middle school boy dies trying TikTok blackout challenge that involves players to choke themselves until they pass out.
Nate Squires, 13, an eighth-grade student at Amherst Regional Middle School, suffered fatal injuries when he tried last week to play the social media game, which challenges participants to choke themselves until they pass out for several seconds, the Daily Hampshire Gazette reported.
‘On June 12th, Nate was found unresponsive at home after attempting to do what is known on social media platforms as the ‘black out challenge,” his aunt, Samantha Thomas, posted on a GoFundMe page.
The teen boy was rushed to a hospital, where he died on Monday from his injuries.
Experts have warned that the viral game, which is also known as the ‘passout challenge’ and ‘the fainting game,’ can cause fainting, brain damage and seizures.
Family seek to warn others of the game’s dangers
Nate’s family said they’re warning others now about the challenge and launched the GoFundMe fundraiser to ‘ensure that this does not happen to another family.’
‘All over the world families are losing children to this,’ Thomas wrote. ‘We ask that if you cannot donate, please reach out to a child in your life and talk to them about the black out challenge.’
‘Tell them about the dangers that are out there. Tell them to reach out to an adult if they hear about someone they know attempting it. We hope Nate’s story can help you start this conversation in your home,’ she continued.
While other recent injuries and deaths have been linked to social media, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been tracking choking-related games for decades. A 2008 report from the CDC shows 82 children died from similar challenges since 1995.
‘You don’t know what your anatomy is or what your blood vessels will do and it makes this much more serious,’ Dr. John O’Reilly a Pediatrician at Baystate Medical Center said.
Dr. O’Reilly told Western Mass News the challenge can turn dangerous fast.
‘It’s that stopping of the oxygen. In some kids it might be as little as two or three minutes,’ O’Reilly reiterated.