Not to sound like my grandmother rn (hi, Grams), but it is appalling what children and teens are doing for entertainment these days! Sure, doing dumb things on the internet is great for sh*ts and giggles, but it gets real serious, real fast when it becomes dangerous.
Remember the Tide Pod
epidemic Challenge of 2018 that saw teenagers eating Tide's laundry detergent capsules...for fun? Welp, in the year of our Lord 2020, the teens have come up with yet another harmful social media challenge faster than you can say "concussion."
It is my displeasure to introduce you to the "Skull Breaker" Challenge, a new viral video trend circulating on TikTok. Yes, it is as bad as it sounds. Since it's still fairly new and you're likely in the dark about what's going on, please allow me to explain.
Exactly what is the TikTok "Skull Breaker" Challenge?
Before we get started, please do not try this at home. It's giving people fatal injuries, so we're all going to not go there, okay?
OKAY. Moving forward.
The TikTok "Skull Breaker" Challenge originated in Spain and consists of three people standing in a row, with the middle participant jumping straight up into the air. Once the middle person is in the air, the people on the left/right sides then kick in the feet of the jumping person so they lose balance and fall to the ground, landing on the back of their head. Horrible, right?
Why is the "Skull Breaker" Challenge dangerous?
First of all, a clue about the danger is literally in the name. This challenge should not be taken lightly because it can cause its participants to end up in the hospital with fatal injuries.
Nathan Richards, MD, an internal medicine and pediatrics physician at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, explained to Yahoo! Lifestyle that doing the "Skull Breaker" Challenge can result in "forceful trauma to the head and neck area," adding that participants can get:
- skull fractures,
- neck fractures,
- brain bleeding,
- a loss of consciousness,
- concussions and long term complications, and
- death. DEATH.
And if for some reason this information isn't scary enough to deter you, please look at these two young children who were pranked into doing this challenge—one who now has head injuries and face stitches, and another who has two broken bones in his wrist.
Has TikTok said anything about the "Skull Breaker" Challenge?
Yes...and no. A spokesperson for TikTok told Yahoo! Lifestyle that they try to promote safety within their community guidelines that prohibits this type of content being posted, but the spokesperson did not explicitly state that "Skull Breaker" Challenge videos would be removed.
Here's the statement in full:
"The safety and well-being of our users is a top priority at TikTok. As we make clear in our Community Guidelines, we do not allow content that encourages, promotes, or glorifies dangerous challenges that might lead to injury, and we remove reported behavior or activity that violates our guidelines. To help keep our platform safe, we have introduced a slate of safety features geared towards enhancing our users' experience, including tools for reporting inappropriate content and for managing privacy settings."
It almost goes without saying, but in case I did not make myself clear: PLEASE DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME (OR ANYWHERE ELSE)!
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.