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12 yo Girl Dies after Attempting TikTok Pass-Out Challenge

Milagros Soto was just 12 years old when she choked to death in her home in Argentina. She is one of the many children who have died after attempting the pass-out challenge. She tried the game on January 13, 2023, making her the first child to die from this viral challenge this year.

What is the pass-out challenge?

The pass-out challenge has been around since 2008 but it’s only picked up momentum in the past three years, thanks to TikTok. This viral challenge, also known as the blackout challenge, speed dreaming, fainting game or the game of choking, encourages people to see how long they can hold their breath, basically challenging young children to lose consciousness.

According to Financial Review, the pass-out challenge has been linked to the deaths of at least 20 kids aged 14 or younger in the past 18 months. 

What happened to Milagros? 

Milagros Soto was found dead in her bedroom, after being sent a link to the challenge in a WhatsApp message.

pass-out challenge death
Mila filmed her doing the challenges. Source: Facebook

She filmed the whole incident, which included her doing the pass-out challenge three times. On the first two tries, she was able to gain consciousness. On the third try, something went wrong and she “could not remove the rope from her neck”.

Her heartbroken family has spoken to the media about what happened, explaining that Mila was bullied at school, allegedly because she “was pretty with blonde hair”.

As Mila’s aunt, Laura Luque explains,

“We are inconsolable. We gave her so much love. I believe someone encouraged her to do it.  We have many doubts about everything that happened to her. She was a very smart girl.” 

Milagros is described as a “great student, friend, sweet, good, and kind”.

20 pass-out challenge deaths in 18 months

She is just one of the many children who have taken part in the blackout challenge and died.

A month before Milogros’ death, the family of 12-year-old Tristan Casson says he died in Ohio after attempting TikTok’s pass-out challenge, according to Michigan Live.

12-year-old Archie Battersbee died in August in the UK after apparently trying the challenge and spending months on life support.

son on life support brain dead
Archie’s life support was turned off in August

A few weeks after Archie’s death, Lauryn Keating found her 14-year-old son, Leon Brown, unresponsive in their home in Scotland after an apparent blackout challenge attempt through Facetime.

In 2021, 8-year-old Lalani and nine-year-old Arri both tried the pass-out challenge. Both of them wanted to be TikTok famous. Neither of them survived.

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Arri and her brother, whom she adored

Arri and Lalani’s parents are currently in the middle of a lawsuit against TikTok, arguing that TikTok is a “defective product”.

Arri’s family writes on Arri’s GoFundMe page,

We would like to bring awareness to the dangers that exist on internet, which we believe is the reason Arri is no longer with us. 

There are people who use the internet to spread dangerous challenges and trends that anyone at any age can access. Children are innocent and as the world evolves, technology has become a regular part of daily life for all of us. This will not change and future generations of kids will continue to be born into newer and more advanced technology. These apps start with harmless trends but there is an undercurrent of malice being spread into these apps. As parents we do everything that we can to protect our children and shelter them from harm, but we must work together as a community and world to ensure that our future generations are safe and secure. 

Even with close monitoring, there are still ways for children to be exposed to danger. Monitor what they are viewing, ask questions, and report anything that is dangerous.”

Staying aware 

The pass-out challenge is out there for children to see. We can only hope that our kids never decide to try it. If your child uses TikTok or any social media platform, it’s important to be aware of these dangerous trends and to talk to our kids about them.

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The Mickey Mouse man is allegedly the face of the Blue Whale Challenge. Source: Twitter

Other challenges and trends to be aware of include:

  • The Blue Whale Challenge – encourages teens to complete 50 challenges in 50 days, the last being suicide. It allegedly started in Russia in 2016 and has allegedly been linked to hundreds of deaths.
  • The Skull Breaking Challenge – involves two people tricking a third person into jumping into the air and then kicking their feet out from under them. Also known as the Trip Jump Challenge, the person being tripped has a very good chance of landing on his skull.
  • The Melanotan Trend – encourages users to snort Melanotan drops or use a nasal spray to achieve the perfect tan.  Both products are not approved for marketing or sale in Australia, but, it’s still possible to get them online illegally.

If you need help, please contact one of these services

Avatar of Jenna Galley

Born and raised in Canada, Jenna now lives in Far North Queensland with her tribe. When the mum-of-three is not writing, you can find her floating in the pool, watching princess movies, frolicking on the beach, bouncing her baby to sleep or nagging her older kids to put on their pants.

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