A GIRL aged ten accidentally choked herself to death while taking part in a terrifying TikTok challenge, according to reports in Italy.
Antonella Sicomero was found lifeless on the bathroom floor by her four-year-old sister in Palermo, Sicily.
She told her family she was going for a shower – but investigators are said to believe she was really filming herself for the online craze.
Antonella’s heartbroken dad Angelo said another of Antonella’s sisters told him she had been taking part in a TikTok challenge, La Repubblica reports.
He told the paper: “Antonella was playing the game of asphyxiation.
“My daughter, little Antonella, who dies because of an extreme game on TikTok, how can I accept it?”
Police in Sicily have seized Antonella’s phone and are investigating possible links to social media sites, according to reports.
Take control of TikTok – change these settings now
Parents should do the following immediately…
- Head into Settings > Privacy and Safety and look for the Discoverability heading at the top.
- Under that you’ll see a setting called Private Account. Toggle this on.
- TikTok recommends your page to lots of other users to improve video circulation.
- Switch the setting off and the account will no longer be recommended to other users.
Shut out weirdos:
- In Privacy and Safety > Safety, you can prevent other users from interacting with you.
- Most of the settings are on Everyone by default, but can be changed to Friends or Off.
- You can prevent interactions on comments, Duets, Reacts, users seeing which videos you’ve liked, and also messages.
Restricted Mode ON:
- Restricted Mode tries to limit age-inappropriate content from appearing for children.
- It’s not perfect, and works through using computer-scanning systems – so some dodgy content will inevitably be missed.
- It’s also possible to set a passcode to prevent your child from changing this setting later on.
- You’ll find this in Settings > Digital Wellbeing > Screen Time Management.
Like the dangerous Blue Whale challenge, the craze Antonella is feared to have joined is a sick game that has been popular on TikTok over the past year.
Experts have warned of the risks associated with these challenges, including fainting, seizures, brain damage, and even death.
Public prosecutors in Palermo have opened two investigations for “instigation to suicide”.
Antonella’s mobile has been seized by investigators, who are looking into if she was broadcasting live, if she had been invited to play the game by someone else or if she was making the film for a friend.
Prosecutors also want to verify if she was copying videos of other TikTok users taking part in the challenge.
ANSA media agency report she arrived at hospital in cardiac arrest yesterday.
Doctors fought to save her life but she was later declared brain dead and in an irreversible coma.
Her organs were donated to save three other children before her life support was switched off.
Dad Angelo said: “In this way, Antonella will save many children.”
TikTok said they would be fully cooperating with authorities.
A spokesman said: “Our deepest sympathies are with the girl’s family and friends.
“We do not allow content that encourages, promotes, or glorifies dangerous behaviour that might lead to injury, and our teams work diligently to identify and remove content that violates our policies.
“While we have not currently found evidence of content on our platform that might have encouraged such an incident off-platform, we will continue to monitor closely as part of our continuous commitment to keep our community safe.
“We will also assist the relevant authorities with their investigation as appropriate.”
You’re Not Alone
EVERY 90 minutes in the UK a life is lost to suicide.
It doesn’t discriminate, touching the lives of people in every corner of society – from the homeless and unemployed to builders and doctors, reality stars and footballers.
It’s the biggest killer of people under the age of 35, more deadly than cancer and car crashes.
And men are three times more likely to take their own life than women.
Yet it’s rarely spoken of, a taboo that threatens to continue its deadly rampage unless we all stop and take notice, now.
That is why The Sun launched the You’re Not Alone campaign.
The aim is that by sharing practical advice, raising awareness and breaking down the barriers people face when talking about their mental health, we can all do our bit to help save lives.
Let’s all vow to ask for help when we need it, and listen out for others… You’re Not Alone.
If you, or anyone you know, needs help dealing with mental health problems, the following organisations provide support:
- CALM, www.thecalmzone.net, 0800 585 858
- Heads Together, www.headstogether.org.uk
- Mind, www.mind.org.uk, 0300 123 3393
- Papyrus, www.papyrus-uk.org, 0800 068 41 41
- Samaritans, www.samaritans.org, 116 123
- Movember, www.uk.movember.com
- Anxiety UK www.anxietyuk.org.uk, 03444 775 774 Monday-Friday 9.30am-10pm, Saturday/Sunday 10am-8pm