5 Dangerous social media challenges you and your kids should avoid
These trendy "games" can cause injuries to you and your kids! Watch out, moms and dads! Here's what you need to know to protect your kids
As kids grow it's natural for them to develop FOMO (fear of missing out) and competitiveness. The need for belongingness and to prove that they can keep up with their peers can become so intense, causing impressionable kids to disregard the possible risks.
Social media has a great influence on kids, this can't be denied. Parents have the responsibility to monitor the time they spend on social media platforms as well as the information they consume.
Though there have been socially relevant ones, aimed at helping others and raising awareness, like the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.
There are seemingly harmless social media challenges which actually pose dangers to kids, causing them to inflict self-harm and put themselves in compromising situations.
Here are some of the most popular and potentially dangerous challenges we've come across on social media.
The Eraser Challenge
This challenge involves rubbing an eraser vigorously on one's skin while singing the alphabet. Kids who participate often obtain cuts and burns from the challenge, which they boast about on social media.
"Kids are rubbing an eraser across their skin while having to do or say something. It's causing serious burns," read a school in North Carolina's facebook post.
"These are kids acting like kids. It seems like there's this bravado in it, there's this easy accessibility . . . when you're thinking about the social dynamics of children trying to belong, trying to get attention and show strength, it isn't that surprising," Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson said in an interview with Today. "Kids don't know this, but your skin isn't sterile, it's crawling and teeming with bacteria and when you open up your skin, that bacteria can crawl in and cause an infection."
The Salt and Ice challenge
Back in January, a similar social media challenge alarmed many parents after it sent kids to the hospital.
The challenge involves pouring salt on a part of the body (usually the arm). After that, ice is placed over it. The combination of ice and salt causes a "burning sensation" that can quickly result in second to third degree burns. The effect has been likened to burns from the metal end of a lighter as well as frostbite. Nerve damage and lasting scars can also result from the challenge.
Though the DIY slime recipe, which has been going viral in the Philippines, involves harmless household ingredients--glue, water, liquid soap, and coloring--it has been known to have causes severe burns to the hands of an 11-year-old girl.
“She was like crying in pain, ‘My hands hurt, my hands hurt,’” Kathleen's mom told CBS Philly, adding that her daughter's hand started to tingle after it came into contact with homemade slime. She suffered painful blisters all over her hands as well as severe 2nd and 3rd degree burns.
The Cinammon Challenge
Popularized by various Youtube videos, the objective of the challenge is simple: swallow a teaspoon of ground cinammon in less than a minute without having a drink of anything! Once done, you win! Parents should be aware of the dangers cinnamon can pose to your lungs after accidental inhalation. It can also cause lead to inflammation and infection.
"This is a dangerous practice which can result in choking, aspiration of cinnamon powder into the lungs, and even respiratory failure requiring a ventilator in extreme cases," Dr. Robert Glatter, an emergency medicine physician told CBS news, adding that there has been a spike in reported cases recently. "The stunt can also be deadly as a result of lack of oxygen to the brain in cases of choking and aspiration of the powder."
The Chubby Bunny challenge
Who doesn't love marshmallows? Adults and kids alike are "having fun" with the Chubby Bunny challenge. The mechanics are simple: stuff as many marshmallows as you can in your mouth. The one who manages to fit the most number of marshmallows, wins. Seems harmless enough, right? But doctors say it can actually be life threatening.
But stuffing these soft treats into your mouth can cause a blockage of your airway when at least one becomes lodged in your throat.
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