Sinesipho Schrieber
3 minute read
19 Feb 2020
10:00 am

Potentially dangerous ‘skull breaker challenge’ emerges in Pretoria

Sinesipho Schrieber

Paramedics have warned that the skull breaker challenge could result in dire medical implications or even death.

There have been multiple reports of children being seriously injured as a result of the skull breaker challenge. Image for illustration only: iStock

A dangerous social media challenge that is trending around the world has emerged in Pretoria.

Known as the “skull breaker challenge”, the trend involves three children standing next to one another, jumping into the air then tripping the person in the middle, who falls on his back, reports Pretoria Moot Rekord.

A video showing three young boys from a high school in the Pretoria Moot area has emerged as they laugh and complete the challenge. The management of the school was not available for comment and the department of education also had not responded by the time of publication.

There have been multiple reports of children being seriously injured as a result of this dangerous social media trend.

Best Care ambulance service spokesperson, Xander Loubser, said the skull breaker challenge could result in dire medical implications or even death.

“If you land directly on your head on a hard surface it might cause a skull fracture or spine fracture, which could result in having some form of a disability or death,” said Loubser.

Loubser warned parents to educate learners on the implications of the challenge.

In Brazil, it was reported that a learner had died after participating in the game and falling on her head. There is a number of videos of school learners playing the game.

TikTok is a trending video creation platform that is popular among the generation Z users, aged 7-22. It hit mainstream South Africa, with a local influencer from Pretoria having more than 1.8 million followers.

As parents, it has become increasingly difficult to stay informed about what your child does on which social media platform. According to Common Sense Media, parents must be aware of the following factors on TikTok.

  1. TikTok users sign up with a phone number, email address, Facebook or Instagram account.
  2. TikTok strongly features music and dancing, often explicit songs. If parents supervise their kids and stick to songs you already know from the radio, TikTok can be a kid-friendly experience.
  3. Due to all the children under 13 who use the platform, the developers created a separate section of the app for kids that only allow them to access to curated, clean videos. They can’t comment, search, or post their own videos. This feature is only activated if children enter a truthful birthdate, but can be bypassed by entering a false birthdate.
  4. There is the option to set the account to private, ensuring only people who follow your child can see the content.
  5. As a parent, you can provide a buffer between your child and the negative content by watching with your kids and making videos together. Instead of banning your child, embrace the platform with them by learning more about how to use the platform.

The allure of becoming famous as an influencer may push children to try more dangerous challenges and to create videos that are far-reaching to get more followers. Common Sense Media explains how vital it is to speak to one’s child openly, and to ensure you understand and follow what they are creating.

It is recommended that parents create their own TikTok accounts to better monitor their child’s activity on the platform.

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