'Passing out' for likes: New TikTok trend could be deadly

TikTok users trial the "pass out" challenge.
TikTok users trial the "pass out" challenge. Photo credit: georgiipuggmur; drakebudinick; bustd0wnthotiana /TikTok

We've had the cinnamon challenge, the chair challenge, and the ice bucket challenge but nothing tops the dangers of this current internet craze. 

Like-hungry teenagers are taking to TikTok to participate in the "pass out" challenge, where they shake their heads back and forward repeatedly to make themselves faint.  

Thousands of users have been taking part on the social media platform and broadcasting it to their followers.

"I didn't think this would actually work," said one user after passing out on video. 

"WTF, this actually works though. Looks like I found another way to go to sleep every night," said another.

Another girl who filmed herself fainting warned not to follow suit. "I now have a huge ass headache," she said. 

'Passing out' for likes: New TikTok trend could be deadly
Photo credit: @bustd0wnthotiana /TikTok

Sadly, it's not the first time fainting games have circulated.  

The 'choking game', popular in the late 90's and early 2000s, had kids hampering their airways with ropes. 

According to Time, around 82 children - some as young as six-years-old - died in the US as a result of it. 

Similarly, the "Space Monkey challenge" had youths self-hyperventilating to shorten their breaths and try to black out. 

When the challenge first circulated on Snapchat in 2014, British doctor Nick Flynn warned of the dangers children were putting upon themselves, which he said was similar to drowning, choking or having a cardiac arrest.   

"In performing the pass-out challenge they are mimicking suffocation. They are stopping the chest muscle from moving, which stops the chest from working and you can't get oxygen to the brain. The brain is then starved of oxygen and the person loses consciousness," the GP told the Irish Examiner. 

Dr Flynn says this causes brain hypoxia, and it only takes three minutes without oxygen for brain damage and five minutes for it to result in death.

The Mirror reported thousands of videos were found under the #passoutchallenge hashtag - but it seems TikTok has removed this hashtag altogether.

The #passout hashtag is now being used to share their self brain hypoxia videos instead.