TikTok is a mystery to most parents, teachers, or really anyone over a certain age. I certainly fall into this group, and I figured it was harmless enough. What could be so detrimental about kids lip-synching or winking at a filtered video of their own face? Granted there are some creeps rolling around, much like you can find in any corner of the internet but I monitor my children's online activity fairly close. We'll get into the ethics and how exactly I perform this feat in an upcoming article.
Aside from stalkers or predators, there is another danger that TikTok harbors, and that is dumb and dangerous TikTok challenges. Granted there are challenges that are relatively innocuous but some of these can lead to some serious injury and you'll need to be on the lookout for them. I was actually extremely surprised by some of these challenges. Perhaps I shouldn't be, considering that children's frontal lobes are still basically half-baked but that's all the more reason to keep them safe!
In order to keep them safe, keep good communication. We have another blog featuring 8 tips to maintain open communication with kids. One of the best ways is to demonstrate that you care. Show them they and their health matter with grape scented shoe deodorizer powder.
As if it needed to be stated DO NOT TRY ANY OF THESE!
Dumbest TikTok Challenges
Salt and Ice Challenge
The salt and ice challenge fell out of popularity around 2012, and thank goodness for that. It basically consists of two people pouring salt on moist bare skin and then setting an ice cube on top. Whoever lasts longest wins, but the consequences can be dire. The salt and ice challenge can lead to frostbite, chemical burns, and blisters.
The Condom Challenge
Snort a condom up your nose and pull it out through your mouth. Why? For clout and followers I guess. Not only is it disgusting, but it can also damage the lining of the nose and throat which may lead to infection. In rare cases it can also lead to asphyxiation. I can only imagine what the coroner would have to say about that one... Ridiculous.
The Choking Challenge
What could be more fun than letting your friends choke you into unconsciousness and posting the video on the internet? Oh, did I say fun? I meant stupid. What could be more stupid? Obviously a lack of oxygen leads to death of brain cells which can cause permanent brain damage or death.
The Fire Challenge
Cover a part of your body in rubbing alcohol or other flammable liquid and light it on fire. There are plenty of cases where the liquid will burn away with little consequence, but this one has gone wrong and definitely isn't worth the risk. The internet is crawling with videos of teenagers that have suffered severe burns because of this challenge.
The Skullbreaker Challenge
I've never been a fan of mean-spirited pranks and this one takes the cake. The name along demonstrates how horrible it actually is. Three people line up with the mark in the middle and say they're going to jump. When the person in the middle jumps their legs are kicked out from under them in midair. Very recently a teenager in Venezuela was hospitalized.
Keep your kids from getting tripped up without any malicious friends involved by rocking a set of reflective kids shoelaces.
The Outlet Challenge
If you take a partially plugged outlet plug and touch it with a penny, what do you think will happen? A giant spark for one. You might also experience a nasty shock, and perhaps even burn up the wiring in your house. Overall it's a terrible idea that isn't worth the small amount of attention it might bring.
The Cinnamon Challenge
One of the more popular entries on this list, you might've heard of the cinnamon challenge. Eating a tablespoon of cinnamon might seem easy and harmless, and that's exactly what makes this one so bad. You can't produce enough saliva to tamp down that much cinnamon, some will very likely end up in your lungs which can lead to scarring. Not good.
The Boiling Water Challenge
There are two versions of this challenge and both of them are equally awful. One involved throwing boiling water on yourself or a "friend" which, really need I say more? The older version involves drinking boiling water through a straw which can lead to some nasty internal scalding. Definitely not worth the risk.
The Ghost Pepper Challenge
OK, I'll admit that this is one I tried out on my own YouTube channel when it was peaking in popularity. I did survive to tell the tale, but it's a day that I'll never forget. After a round of vomiting, I was still in pain all day. Eat enough of these bad boys and you might end up with esophageal rupturing. Not fun.
The Pass Out Challenge
Unlike the aforementioned choking challenge, the pass out challenge involves swaying your head, in effect jiggling your brain until you lose consciousness. It sounds about as fun as it is, but that doesn't stop people from doing it in order to gain a few more followers.
There is no shortage of stupid internet challenges out there. TikTok is a haven for it, but we might explore a bit more of the internet at a later date if I find the stomach for it. Research for this kind of thing requires a bit of a break afterwards in order to restore my faith in humanity before diving back down the rabbit hole.