Remember the Tide Pod Challenge of 2018 where teenagers challenged each other to eat laundry detergent pods? Just when you thought things couldn’t get more insane, something new comes along that can potentially cause serious harm to teens who try it.
Have you heard of the Skull Breaker Challenge? It’s going viral on TikTok and trending on Twitter. Also known as the “Tripping Jump” Challenge, it has quickly gone viral around the world. Even adults are trying to prank other adults with it.
The Skullbreaker Challenge
The social media challenge involves three participants standing next to each in a row before jumping straight up. While the middle person is in the air, however, the other two individuals on each end kick inward to knock the middle person off balance. The middle person then hits their head when they fall on their back on the ground.
The challenge derives its name from the Spanish word Rompcráneos, or ‘Skullbreaker’ in English. Like with most social media trends, it is unknown who first came up with it.
One of the first videos that went viral was filmed in a school in Venezuela. It is now trending in Europe and United States.
The free fall can result in head injuries, bone fractures, and even literally break your skull.
As the challenge gained momentum, more kids have taken up the challenge and have shared the video of the same on various social media platforms. But doctors and parents are now sounding the alarm on the “Skull Breaker Challenge.”
Arizona mother Valerie Hodson took to Facebook on February 8 to share serious images of her son, who was a victim of the “malicious cruel viral prank.” Hodson said her son was left with a head injury, stitches in his face, and severe cuts in his mouth.
Days later, Teri Wimmer Smith, a mother in Alabama, posted a similar warning to the Facebook community. Her son, Parker, suffered two broken bones in his wrist and would have surgery after he, too, was pranked. “Parents, teach your kids that this crap is dangerous,” warned Smith.
Whenever viral challenges pop up on social media, it may be tempting to dismiss them as obviously stupid, risky things that your teenager would never think of doing. The problem with challenges like the Skull Breaker Challenge is that your tween or teen may be an unsuspecting participant. They could sustain real physical injury without even knowing anything about the challenge, much less intending to participate.
What can parents do? Familiarize yourself with social media platforms such as TikTok. Talk to your teen about the dangers of online challenges. Make sure they understand the potentially serious consequences that can happen to kids who participate in this challenge, and that it isn’t just a harmless prank.