teens

'It could result in death.' Thousands of teens are passing out on TikTok for likes. 

Unlike the “chair challenge” and the “ice-bucket challenge” the latest social media trend doing the rounds is much, much more dangerous.

Teenagers are taking to social media platform TikTok to participate in the “pass out” challenge, where they shake their head back and forth in an attempt to lose consciousness.

Thousands of teenagers have posted videos of themselves trying it, with comments like “I can’t believe it worked” and “Okay it works…and I fell off the bed, it hurt”.

While scrolling through the footage, Mamamia came across kids that look as young as eight attempting it.

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The reality of this dangerous “challenge” is that it can result in death.

It’s not the first time this trend has gained momentum and has over decades emerged in various iterations, with the ultimate goal to bring on temporary asphyxia to get a high.

Time reports it dates back to the 1930s and has had many names including “flatliner,” “choking game” and “space monkey.”

When it was the “choking game” kids were using ropes to impede their airways, which resulted in the deaths of 82 kids ranging in age from 6-19 between 1995 and 2007 in the US alone.

There have also been fatalities here in Australia, with a 13-year-old Brisbane boy fatally trying the iteration “the good boys game” (named as such because it does not involve drugs and alcohol) in 2017.

In 2014 it did the rounds on Snapchat, but has at times also infiltrated Twitter and YouTube.

passout-challenge
A new iteration of the dangerous "choking game" has emerged on TikTok in the "pass out" challenge. Image: TikTok.
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"What is actually going on in the brain is a lack of oxygen similar to when someone is drowning, choking or having a cardiac arrest,” explained GP Nick Flynn to The Mirror.

"If you have low oxygen to the brain for over three minutes you can get brain damage and if you have low oxygen to the brain for over five minutes it can result in death."

Articles from earlier in the month, like on The Daily Dot and The Mirror reference the hashtag #passoutchallenge, but upon our own investigation, it looks like that hashtag has been removed from TikTok altogether.

It hasn't, however, stopped teens from using other versions such as the shortened hashtag #passout to get their videos out to their peers.

Most of the videos Mamamia came across where either British or American, but as with anything on social media, that doesn't mean it's not doing the rounds here in Australia.

These social media trends travel - and fast.

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Feature image: TikTok.

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