10-Year-Old Girl Dies Trying 'Blackout Challenge' from Social Media, Mom Says

Nyla Anderson was found unconscious in her home on Sunday after trying out the dangerous social media challenge, her mother said

Nylah Anderson
Photo: GoFundMe

A 10-year-old girl from Pennsylvania is dead after she attempted the "Blackout Challenge," a dangerous game that has recently circulated on social media networks.

Nyla Anderson was found unconscious in her home on Dec. 12 after allegedly trying the challenge, which dares participants to hold their breath until they pass out from a lack of oxygen, according to WPVI.

The young girl was taken to Nemours Children's Hospital but did not survive.

"I'm so hurt," her mother, Tawainna Anderson, told the news station. "This is a pain that won't go away. It's at the top of my throat. I am so hurt."

The "Blackout Challenge" — sometimes referred to as the "Choking Challenge" or "Pass-out Challenge"— predates most modern-day social networking sites and can be traced back at least as far as 2008, when 82 youths died as a result of the game, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

This year, at least three other children — Joshua Haileyesus, 12, and Robert Craig, 10, and LaTerius Smith Jr., 9 — have reportedly died after attempting the game.

"You wouldn't think 10-year-olds would try this," Anderson told WPVI. "They're trying because they're kids and they don't know better."

A GoFundMe has been set up to pay for Nyla's funeral and has raised nearly $1,000 as of Wednesday night.

Anderson did not publicly name the popular social media platform, TikTok, as the place where Nyla came across the challenge, but when reached by PEOPLE, the company said they were remaining "vigilant" toward any unsafe content that could be seen by users.

"This disturbing 'challenge,' which people seem to learn about from sources other than TikTok, long predates our platform and has never been a TikTok trend," a spokesperson said. "We remain vigilant in our commitment to user safety and would immediately remove related content if found."

"Our deepest sympathies go out to the family for their tragic loss," they continued.

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Anderson hopes that by sharing her daughter's story, she can inspire other parents to take a closer look at their children's social media activities.

"Make sure you check your kids' phones," Anderson told WPVI. "You never know what you might find on their phones."

"She was a butterfly," she added of Nyla. "She was everything. She was a happy child."

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