Parents are being warned about a number of potentially “dangerous” trends that have become cropping up on social media, particularly on video sharing site TikTok.
Experts at SellCell say youngsters could be putting themselves at risk by attempting to recreate some of the most popular trends at home. They are now urging parents to keep tabs on what their children access.
It comes after research found almost 42% of children spend more than four hours a day on their phone. This makes them particularly susceptible to inappropriate content.
Although TikTok was designed to be a platform where users can share and watch entertaining short videos, the rise of challenges means young users may be encouraged to take part in dangerous tasks. Experts now believe trends such as the blackout, chroming and Cha Cha Slide challenge put lives at risk.
Experts have now compiled a list of the most dangerous social media challenges that parents need to know about:
The Borg or blackout rage gallon challenge involves filling a gallon jug with equal parts water and vodka, along with caffeinated flavor enhancers and electrolyte powders, in an attempt to create a hangover-proof drink. People assume the presence of water and electrolytes in the borg cocktail makes them less dangerous but it’s not true. The large servings make it difficult to moderate drinking, leading people to consume an excessive amount of alcohol.
Mouth taping during sleep
This trend involves using a piece of tape to keep the mouth shut to only breathe out of the nose while sleeping, claiming to improve sleep quality and prevent snoring. Participating in this trend has several risks, such as obstructed breathing, irritation from the tape, disrupted sleep and choking hazards. It’s especially dangerous for people who have sleep apnea and other sleep disorders.
The blackout challenge is one of the most dangerous trends to hit social media, allegedly resulting in several deaths. The participants of the challenge are encouraged to hold their breath or choke themselves with household items until they pass out. Users post videos of the adrenaline rush they get when regaining consciousness, encouraging children too young to grasp the risk to try the challenge.
The chroming trend revolves around users challenging each other to inhale fumes from toxic sources, such as aerosol cans, spray deodorants, paint containers or nail polish removers. The aim of the challenge is to create a temporary high, however the participants are not aware of the dangerous side effects chroming includes. Participating in this trend can lead to serious health risks such as heart attack, seizures, suffocation, coma, choking, or fatal injury, and may even cause permanent organ damage.
Fake piercings with magnets
The trend, people are using small magnetic balls, commonly sold as creative toys, as fake facial and tongue piercings. It can be extremely dangerous if these magnets are accidentally swallowed, as ingesting more than one means that they’ll be forced together, squeezing the intestines and bowels and threatening blood flow.
This challenge involves taking large doses of Benadryl, an over-the-counter antiallergic drug, to trigger hallucinations. The participants take nearly double the recommended daily dosage of the medication in a short period of time and film their side effects. Consuming an excessive amount of allergy medication could lead to heart problems, seizures, coma, or even death.
Cha Cha Slide
The Cha Cha Slide challenge sounds like it’s a fun and safe trend, but in reality it’s one of the most dangerous trends making the rounds on TikTok. The trend encourages teens to drive recklessly to the beat of the famous Cha Cha Slide song by DJ Casper. Drivers are swerving their cars left and right before sharply turning in both directions at the “criss cross” part of the lyrics. This can lead to careless drivers veering into oncoming traffic and causing life-threatening accidents.
The deodorant challenge
This trend sees youngsters spraying deodorant closely onto their bare skin for as long as possible to make it feel ice-cold. Following this trend can leave kids with severe and nasty burns, as the pressurised gas in aerosol cans creates a sharp cooling effect on skin, causing the skin to freeze. Some kids who have taken part in the challenge have been left with injuries that require years to heal and plastic surgery.
Sarah McConomy, from SellCell said: “The pressure to fit in and be popular on social media can cloud young people’s judgement, making them ignore the possible consequences of harmful trends on social media. With kids spending more time on their phones than ever, their exposure to inappropriate content naturally increases.
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