The risk of your kid doing a stupid dare is no longer limited to peer pressure at school. Any child with access to social media can be exposed to these sometimes gross, sometimes dangerous challenges that are trending online on platforms like YouTube and TikTok.
Childish (and sometimes harmful) dares are nothing new. For instance, “bloody knuckles” and “hand slaps” are pain-inducing games that kids and teenagers have been playing for years. But today, kids are performing increasingly dangerous and potentially deadly challenges, then posting videos of the acts online in order to gain likes and views.
Here are some of the popular challenges kids are trying.
This challenge maybe not be linked to YouTube, but it has begun to trend on TikTok, another popular video platform. Also known as the #PennyChallenge, this dare has people trying to go viral by putting phone chargers halfway into outlets and dropping coins onto the exposed prongs in order to create sparks. It goes without saying that playing with electrical sockets is dangerous because of the risk of electricution, but this challenge can also cause power outages and electrical fires. Cover your outlets!Photo: iStockphoto
Pregnant folks, curb your ice cream cravings! There’s a new challenge going around where people go to a grocery store, open a tub of ice cream, lick it and put it back on the freezer shelf. Disgusting. While some folks think it’s harmless, this actually counts as food tampering, which is a felony charge in the U.S. and a punishable offence in Canada. So make sure to check the seal on your ice cream next time reach for a pint.Photo: @BlindDensetsu via Twitter
This new popular dare originates from Snapchat rather than YouTube, and it has teens and tweens eating food with the “shell on”—meaning they bite into food without unwrapping it first. Yup, kids are biting into unpeeled bananas, oranges and lemons as well as unwrapped candies and (as seen in the photo above) plastic bags of baby carrots to get a few laughs. While ingesting plastic wrappers can have some adverse affects on thier bodies (and is therefore not recommended), this challenge is more strange than it is dangerous. But hey, these same kids used to eat their own boogers and lick mud, so we can’t really be too shocked, can we?Photo: Liam Hamm via Snapchat
The idea of this challenge is terrifying—children are contacted via WhatsApp by the bulgy-eyed momo character and told to hurt themselves. After saving her as a contact (and not saying a word to their parents), she’d send violent images and ultimately encourage the kids to take their lives. While the story has been circulating since 2018, Police in Northern Ireland have recently called the Momo Challenge a hoax at the hands of hackers, and identified the doll in the photos as a Japanese special-effects sculpture. Charities are denying any reports of violence or suicide resulting from this bizarre story, though momo has been edited into unofficial versions of cartoons like Peppa Pig on YouTube, so keep monitoring what your little ones watch!Photo: PSNI
While this challenge came from Facebook and not Youtube, it may be one of the scariest and most dangerous of all. It challenges teens as young as 14 to go missing for two days and sever all contact with friends and family. Additionally, the missing kids get “more points” for each Facebook post that relatives publish while trying to locate them. Kind of like a cruel and stress-inducing game of hide-and-seek where parents don’t know it’s a game. While there have not been reports cited regarding this challenege, police departments across North America have been posting warnings to parents, encouraging them to talk to their teens about social media use and how dangerous something like this can be.Photo: iStockphoto
A teen in Indiana made headlines after his friends poured boiling water on him as part of the Hot Water Challenge giving him second-degree burns on his head, face and chest. The challenge involves trying to drink boiling water through a straw or throwing boiling water on an unexpecting friend. It should be pretty obvious why it’s dangerous. Now, this challenge isn’t totally new (it can be found in Instagram posts up to a year ago), but why it has stuck around for so long is totally baffling especially considering a quick internet search shows the tragic burns that usually come as the result—but be warned, the images are very graphic.Photo: @respect_my_opinion via Instagram
No, this isn’t a joke. Teens are challenging each other to snort unused condoms with the end goal being to pull it out from their mouth. Not only is it disgusting, kids are risking choking, as well as allergic reactions, infection and even pneumonia if ingested, according to Forbes. Another serious case involved a woman undergoing surgery after a piece of the condom was lodged in her appendix. This is apparently an old challenge that has been resurrected from a few years ago, and previous iterations can be found on Instagram and YouTube under the hashtag #condomchallenge. WHAT IS HAPPENING TO THE WORLD?!Photo via YouTube
This might be one of the most dangerous (and stupidest) challenges that has gone viral to date. Teens are posting videos of themselves biting and chewing Tide Pods on social media. Why? The point is to challenge friends in order to see who won’t chicken out and how far they’ll go before spitting it out. The risks of accidentally ingesting the detergent includes: vomiting, throat burns, eye injuries and death. More than 40 teens in the US have been poisoned as a result of this challenge. Put your Tide Pods in a safe, hidden place!Photo: CBC News via YouTube
Previously called “frosting,” this dangerous trend is seeing the light of day again under a new name: The Deodorant Challenge. It requires the person to hold an aerosol deodorant can as close to their skin as possible and spray it for a prolonged period of time. Kids are getting first- to second-degree burns from this challenge, causing their skin to look spotty.Photo: Twitter
This painful challenge requires kids to take an eraser and rub it on their skin (usually on their hands or forearms) as hard as they can for 30 seconds. The outcome is a painful welt that could result in a scar.Photo: YouTube.com
This challenge is similar to the previous one in that each person is served a covered dish. The kids have to eat whatever they unveil—be it human food or dog food. There are several rounds and each person ultimately ends up forcing back some kibble.Photo: YouTube.com
This challenge requires a person to eat two bananas, followed by a litre of Sprite—without puking. The food and drink combination does not mix well and most often results in a messy upheaval.Photo: YouTube.com
Betting someone they can’t swallow a teaspoon of cinnamon has become a classic prank. To the gullible, it may seem like a doable dare, but to the wise, it’s a dangerous proposition. However, a lot of vloggers know the consequences—coughing, choking and burning eyes—but try the challenge on video anyway.
It has also been reported that the cinnamon challenge poses a risk to one’s health, and has caused a growing number of people to visit emergency rooms and call poison control centres.
For this challenge, a person puts salt on his or her skin, usually on the arm, and holds an ice cube on top. The salt causes the ice to drop in temperature to nearly -30 degrees Celsius, which can result in a “full-thickness burn” in just a few minutes. It could also cause permanent nerve damage and scarring.Photo: YouTube.com
There are many iterations of the Eat It or Wear It Challenge, but in this video, two little girls have several paper bags filled with an unknown food item (that we assume their parents prepared). Some items the girls unwrap include canned squid, pickled relish and cream of shrimp. As the challenge’s name suggests, the girls have to either try a bite or have the food dumped on their heads.Photo: YouTube.com
What originally began as an old campfire game has turned into an online trend. To play, a person has to stick as many marshmallows into their mouth as possible and say the words “chubby bunny,” without any marshmallows falling out. The game is an obvious choking hazard and has claimed lives in the past.Photo: YouTube.com
The #hellchallenge is an Internet fad that has been gaining momentum in 2017. It involves kids filming their parents (without their knowledge) and asking them if “hell” is a curse word. The child will continue recording while asking casual questions peppered with the word “hell.” For example: “What the hell is for dinner?” It’s a prank for kids who want to get a rise out of their parents.Photo: YouTube.com