A mother has spoken out after a TikTok challenge left her son hospitalised with a head injury, stiches and damage to his front teeth.
The ‘Skull-Breaker’ challenge is the latest in a long line of social media trends to take the world by storm.
But this challenge could be far more dangerous than the rest.
This ‘prank’ involves three people standing beside each other before jumping in unison. Whilst the middle person is in mid-air, the other two kick inwards; knocking their legs out from under them.
It was first reported in Spain and has since led to serious injuries worldwide. Now parents are coming forward to warn of the potentially severe consequences of this malicious prank.
One such parent is Valerie Hodson, from Tucson, Arizona. She took to reveal how here young son had been left unconscious after the prank.
She wrote: ‘I really contemplated posting this, but I feel there needs to be awareness of this malicious, cruel, viral prank.
‘On Wednesday my son was asked to do a jumping contest with his two ‘friends’.
‘When he jumped up, the two boys kicked him as hard as they could, and his legs flew out in front of him.
‘He landed hard flat on his back and head.
‘As he struggled to get up he lost consciousness, and fell forward landing on his face.’
She then explained how a school monitor ran to his side as he lay unconscious on the floor.
In the pictures you can see Mrs Hodson’s son in a hospital bed, bandaged with grazes on his face.
Listing his injuries she said: ‘He has a head injury, stitches in his face, severe cuts inside his mouth and two front teeth I have to keep on eye on.’
And speaking of the boys who caused his injuries she explained they were someone he’d known for some time.
‘His trust in them was warranted.
‘But the premise of the prank is to get an unsuspecting individual to jump, so the pranksters can kick/trip the person to see how hard they fall.’
Whilst most TikTok challenges can be a bit of a laugh, this one is quickly becoming no laughing matter.
Like Mrs Hodson’s son, the prank has caused injuries and in some more serious cases, even death.
A spokesperson from TikTok – the social media app – made the following statement:
‘The safety and well-being of our users is a top priority at TikTok.
‘As we make clear in our Community Guidelines, we do not allow content that encourages, promotes, or glorifies dangerous challenges that might lead to injury.
‘We remove reported behaviour or activity that violates our guidelines.
‘We have introduced a slate of safety features, including tools for reporting inappropriate content and for managing privacy settings.’
Still, mental health experts are encouraging parents to familiarize themselves with the prank.
They also advise parents to explain the dangers of social media to their children.TikTok is now tackling this challenge by replacing ‘skull breaker’ videos with ‘skull saver’ challenges.
This is where users re-enact the challenge without the kick.