Teenage is the most vulnerable phase of life as this is the period when one goes through a lot of hormonal and psychological changes. It is the most delicate stage when every wrong path seems right, and controlling oneself becomes tough. And with an easy access to internet things have now become more complicated as it is difficult to guess what the young people will find interesting.
Teenagers find dangerous things cool, thinking that they will get them instant fame, but the truth is completely contradictory to their assumption.
The latest bizarre thing to attract teenagers is the Tide Pod challenge. The alarming new trend has influenced young boys and girls to "eat" laundry detergent pods. Youngsters are reportedly finding it cool to get a couple of likes and retweets on Twitter.The dare has become the most dangerous internet challenge to surface in 2018.
According to a report by The Sun, the deadly dare became a hit after a meme, which has been doing the rounds on Twitter and Tumblr since 2015, reemerged online recently.
The report stated that the meme was based on a 2015 story done by The Onion, an American satirical news website, which was about how the blue and red detergent pods looked like sweets. The satirical piece titled "So help me God, I'm going to eat one of those multicoloured detergent pods" was written from the perspective of an imaginary child. But little did they know that teenagers would take the story too seriously and would start swallowing the pods for real in early 2018.
Medical experts have warned that ingesting detergent is extremely risky for health and can even lead to death as it contains ethanol, polymers and hydrogen peroxide. Manufacturer of the pods, Tide, has also launched a page on its website requesting parents to keep these away from children.
"Nothing is more important to us than the safety of the people who use our products," a spokesperson for the brand said.
"Our laundry packs are a highly concentrated detergent meant to clean clothes and they're used safely in millions of households every day. They should only be used to clean clothes and kept up [on a high shelf], closed and away from children," the person added.
How and when this deadly challenge will end, remain difficult to answer.
IBTimes UK recalls five such dangerous challenges that have previously engulfed the young generation.
Blue Whale Game challenge: Like the Tide pod challenge, most of 2017 was about the Blue Whale Challenge, which claimed many young lives.
Reports say the game, which targets depressed teenagers, has its origin in Russia. It asks the participants to do a series of tasks, including watching a horror movie alone at midnight. The online game also requires challengers to take pictures as proof of completion of their task.
The last step of the game is to take one's own life and document the final act in the form of photos or videos. It is said that the challenge started some four or five years ago in Russia.
Cinnamon challenge: It was one of the most dangerous food challenges that became popular in 2007 and ended abruptly in mid-2012.
The dare required the participants to swallow a spoonful of cinnamon without any drop of water. Health experts warned that the stunt can prove fatal if the cinnamon forms a clump and blocks one's airways. Other health risks due to the challenge are throat irritation, breathing difficulties, a risk of pneumonia or a collapsed lung.
Condom Snorting Challenge: As bizarre as it sounds, people participating in this challenge have to sniff condom through their noses and pull it out through their mouths. The challenge gained traction in 2013 when WorldStarHipHop, a content-aggregating video blog, uploaded a video of two girls taking up this dare.
After that, many people tried the weird activity and posted their videos online. The potential threat due to the challenge is choking to death if the condom gets stuck in one's windpipe or lungs. It's not clear when the fever of this fatal challenge came down.
Condom water drop challenge: This notorious game wanted the participants to fill condoms with water and after tying its end, they need to drop it on another person's head. The idea behind this act was to give an impression to the viewers that the person who was hit with the condom has immersed in the water.
It was not as disastrous as the earlier condom challenge but had risks if the air-tight condom gets stuck over one's nose or mouth.
The Kylie Jenner Lip Challenge: This challenge was a hit among teenage girls in 2015, who aspired to have their lips like American television personality, Kylie Jenner.
The girls used to suck on a shot glass or water bottle in order to puff up their lips like Jenner. Several reports had come out warning people against the attempt as there were cases where people cut themselves after the glass broke in the middle of the challenge.