These dangerous challenges our kids are competing it can end in pain, hospitalization and even death.
When I was a kid, I can remember a few versions of these challenges, like writing a boyfriends name on your body with an eraser. It was as ignorant then as it is now. The big difference though, between growing up in the 90’s vs. 2017, is social media.
Showing off your ‘bravery’ on the internet for the world to see and crossing your fingers for a viral video makes kids in this generation flat out do stupid things. Here are a few of the challenges you need to know about as a parent or care giver.
Salt & Ice Challenge
In this challenge, kids pour salt on their bodies and then place a piece of ice on top causing a burning sensation. The person that can keep it on the longest, withstanding the most pain, wins. Wins what? I don’t know, probably a bragging right that no one really cares about.
Why it’s dangerous: It is essentially frostbite, causing severe burns and welts. One doctor warns you could lose nerve endings on the skin.
Kids are rubbing their skin with an eraser for a certain amount of time, like as long as it takes to say the alphabet or a phrase they’ve picked out. They’re essentially rubbing the skin right off their body.
Why it’s dangerous: In addition to burning and scarring the skin, you can easily contract a bad skin infection from this challenge. In 2015 a teen was hospitalized after contracting Toxic Shock directly from the eraser challenge.
The Choking Game
This is probably the scariest one, the chocking game is exactly what it sounds like: kids choke themselves to try and get some almost-passed-out high sensation. Unfortunately, it often goes way too far. Kids not only use their hands but belts, rope or anything else they can find.
Why it’s dangerous: Kids are dying. There are no circumstances where putting a rope around your neck is a good idea. There have been countless deaths and this challenge needs to stop immediately.
The challenge here is to eat a tablespoon of cinnamon (without a drink) in 60 seconds. Why? Well because it’s impossible to do without spitting, choking and hacking. I could understand why kids may not see the danger in cinnamon; after all, it lives in their kitchen cabinet and their mom sprinkles it on toast. It is, however, very dangerous.
Why it’s dangerous: It can cause choking, aspiration and even respiratory failure. This article also says that getting cinnamon in the lungs can cause permanent scarring.
So, what should we do to stop our kids from participating? The best thing is to talk to them about it long before they hear about it from friends. If they hear it from us first we can show them the horrific photos of the damage, tell them about the sweet little boy or girl who lost their life, explain how painful third-degree burns really are. It is also important to help our kids develop a “refusal plan” which is what they will say and do when confronted with these peer pressure situations and more.