Medical professionals are warning parents this week of a dangerous new prank disguised as a viral TikTok challenge.
The “Skull Breaker Challenge” involves three participants standing next to each other in a row before jumping straight up.
While in the air, the two people on the outside of the row kick inward, literally knocking the middle person of their feet, and subsequently flat on their back, which often causes their head to forcefully hit the ground upon landing.
Warning: this video is difficult to watch.
— Nicole Wong 王晓庭 (@nicolewong89) February 14, 2020
The Skull Breaker Challenge originally went viral in Spain, and has since garnered massive attention close to home as teens attempt the dangerous, and downright nasty prank.
Arizona Mother, Valerie Hodson took to Facebook earlier this month with alarming photos, after her son was the victim of the “malicious cruel viral prank.”
Hodson says her son was asked to do a jumping contest with two of his “friends.”
As the Skull Breaker Challenge goes, while in the air, the boys kicked him, hard, causing his legs to fly out from under him.
“He landed hard flat on his back and head, as he struggled to get up he lost consciousness, he fell forward landing on his face,” Hodson explained. “The school monitor ran to his side, all the while the 2 boys were snickering and laughing as his stiff unconscious body lay on the asphalt.”
I really contemplated posting this, but I feel there needs to be awareness of this malicious cruel viral prank.
Hodson says her son wound up with a head injury, stitches in his face, severe cuts in his mouth, and two front teeth that will need to be closely monitored.
She later updated to add that her son was not aware of what was about to happen—hence the “prank,” and the two boys who did this to him had been trusted friends of his for quite some time.
In Alabama, a mom named Teri Smith shared a similar story on Facebook after her son Parker was too a victim of the prank.
Parker suffered two broken bones in his wrist and had to undergo surgery to have pins and screws placed for stability.
“Parents teach your kids that this crap is dangerous,” Smith wrote.
Prayers needed… Parker was unknowingly tiktok pranked which caused him to fall. We are sure broken arm but not sure…
“The ‘Skull Breaker Challenge’ is an emerging prank being propagated on social media that results in forceful trauma to the head and neck area,” said Dr. Nathan Richards, a physician who specializes in internal medicine and pediatrics at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.
“It can be associated with a variety of serious and even life-threatening injuries including, but not limited to, bruising, hematoma, skull fracture, neck strain, neck fracture, concussion and long-term complications of concussion, bleeding in or around the brain, loss of consciousness, paralysis and death,” he said.
“Although it can seem like a harmless prank to children and adolescents, they should be educated on the potentially serious consequences of doing the [challenge],” he added.
Parents, it’s important to talk to your kids not only about the dangers of these challenges, but also as a warning to not partake.
Kids need to know the signs of these pranks in order to not become victims of them.