‘Blackout Challenge’ resurfaces, experts warn it’s as dangerous as ever

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Experts are warning parents about a disturbing trend that’s been making the rounds on social media. It’s called the “Blackout Challenge” or “Fainting Challenge.”

It’s been around for years, but it resurfaced in 2021 on TikTok. It’s been linked to more than a dozen deaths in kids over the past two years, and some school districts are even sending out warnings to parents about how dangerous and popular it is.

“Let’s rename this the ‘strangulation challenge’ or ‘suffocation challenge,’ that’s really what this is,” said Dr. Archelle Georgiou, KSTP’s medical expert.

Dr. Georgiou says parents should talk with their kids about what they are watching on social media, what intrigues them and what the consequences could be.

“Whoever is trying it is essentially cutting off circulation from your heart to your brain,” she said.

“Parents should be looking for symptoms that might be clues your child might be trying this… do they have abrasions on their neck? Or paraphernalia around their rooms like ropes or belts?” Dr. Georgiou said.

TikTok has recently enacted some safety measures to prevent kids from searching for the challenge, and users are encouraged to flag anybody engaged in the challenge by clicking the “Report” button.