Why TikTok trends can be dangerous – and even deadly…
While most TikTok trends are harmless fun, there are some that could pose a danger to you or to others, both mentally and physically. Sadly, some trends have even resulted in tragic deaths. We take a look at some of the most dangerous viral trends to emerge on TikTok and explain why it’s important to use common sense with trends.
Cracking Eggs On Toddler Heads
This viral prank swept across TikTok and it raises a lot of concerning issues. Firstly, there’s the obvious problem that this is an unkind prank at the expense of others – in this case, small, vulnerable children. In most of these videos, the children are taken by surprise and are confused and upset, sometimes even scared. They don’t understand why someone they love and trust (their parent/guardian/older sibling) would do something to frighten or hurt them. Secondly, and perhaps most importantly, cracking an egg on anyone, especially a little kid, is dangerous and could cause injury. This egg prank is harmful, both mentally and physically, and isn’t funny – especially for the victim.
Spicy Chip Challenge
If you’re on TikTok then you’re probably aware of the spicy chip challenge – and you may even know that this tragically took the life of an American teenager. The Pacqui One Chip Challenge is a challenge that involves someone eating an incredibly spicy tortilla chip. This chip can cause extreme mouth and throat pain and can even cause more severe health issues like trouble breathing and damage to the heart and oesophagus. After a healthy 14-year-old teenager died after eating one of these chips, the product was pulled from the shelves. There are, however, different variations of this spicy chip still available to buy. These spicy chip challenges are particularly dangerous for young children and teenagers, and for those who have underlying medical conditions, food allergies or sensitivity to spicy food. That’s why it’s important to stop and think before joining in with eating and drinking trends – you could be putting your health at serious risk and may even cause lasting damage to your body.
The blackout challenge (or pass-out challenge) has been around on TikTok for years and has been attributed to around 82 deaths from 1995 to 2008.* It involves choking out or holding one’s breath to the point of unconsciousness and is incredibly dangerous. This disturbing challenge can result in severe headaches, bloodshot eyes and disorientation and, more seriously, brain damage and even death. If someone asks you to partake in the blackout challenge, do the right thing and backout. Your life is more precious than a silly dangerous trend.
BORG (Blackout Rage Challenge)
This drinking challenge involves filing a large jug with a mix of water, vodka, caffeinated flavour enhancers and electrolyte powders to create an alcoholic drink that is allegedly hangover-proof. This is not true. Several young people have been hospitalised after taking part in BORG drinking challenges. Binge-drinking can be extremely harmful, both to your physical and mental health. Being under the influence of alcohol can also put you in harmful, even life-threatening, situations. Read more about the dangers of excessive drinking here.
Another very risky challenge is the Benadryl challenge which involves taking large doses of the over-the-counter anti-allergy medicine. People are taking part in the challenge because of the rumoured hallucinations and ‘high’ they feel and are filming their side effects. Taking too much of any medication is incredibly dangerous and can lead to serious medical problems and even death. Whether it’s chasing a fleeting ‘buzz’ from Benadryl, alcohol or any other substance, the user is risking serious dangers to their own health, as well as addiction. You can read more about the dangers of addiction here.
We get that it’s not always easy to say no when your mates are all egging you on to take part. Peer pressure is one of the toughest things a teenager can face. You want to fit in so badly, the last thing you want is to say or do anything that might make you different from everyone else. You fear losing your friends and being alone but it is always OK to say no to something you don’t feel comfortable with. You don’t have to do something just because everyone else is – you are your own person and can make your own choices. Good friends will accept and respect your decisions. This is your life and your health – choose to walk away from trends and situations that put your body and mind at risk. If you need more advice about dealing with peer pressure and how to say “no”, click here.
*Source – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)