Deadly social media ‘challenges’ are on the rise

Health

OKLAHOMA CITY (NBC News) — Dangerous social media trends are being linked to a growing number of injuries and even deaths.

First gaining traction on the app TikTok, the “Benadryl challenge” encourages users to take multiple doses of allergy medicine to induce hallucinations.

Cook Children’s Medical Center in Texas reported three hospitalizations last month related to the challenge, and one Oklahoma teen recently died of a Benadryl overdose.

Another dangerous trend is called “rooftopping” and involves daredevil stunts that can sometimes lead to social media fame.

“When those likes come in, it triggers a dopamine spike, and a serotonin spike,” says therapist Mike Rosenfeld.

The quest for extreme selfies has killed nearly 300 people since 2011 and some life insurance companies are even offering “killfie” policies.

“Kids are upping the game, upping the stakes, and they’re doing so where they’re literally putting their lives at risk,” Rosenfeld says.

Social media networks say they’re constantly working to catch dangerous trends and remove them from platforms, but the first for parents should be talking with kids about the risks of these challenges.

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