The latest craze hitting the ever-popular TikTok app is the “Skull breaker Challenge,” and medical professionals are pleading with everyone NOT to partake in this highly dangerous prank.
The challenge initially seems to be just another dance challenge on the app in the first few seconds. The challenge requires three people lined up side by side. Then the two outside “players” jump in unison while the middle “player” stays grounded. When the two outside “players” land on the ground, the middle “player” then jumps. This is the moment when the outside “players” sweep a leg each causing the middle “player” to fall backward, landing on their back and essentially doing the “skull breaker” as their head hits the floor.
“There are risks of pretty severe injuries. There are also risks of pretty minimal injuries, but we can’t predict which one we’re going to have,” Jennifer Hoekstra, injury prevention specialist at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan, told TODAY Parents.
Viral challenges have become the norm throughout the globe, especially amongst teens. So now, when fruition to such devastating challenges arises, medical professionals insist people think twice about harming themselves or someone else before the consequences create a detrimental end to a person’s life or quality of life.
TODAY reported that it believed this new challenge began in January, when a TikTok video started making the rounds in Daytona Beach, Florida.
While the News Journal who initially reported about the stunt said the video no longer exists, the Daytona Beach Police Department told TODAY Parents that two students are facing misdemeanor charges of battery and cyberbullying stemming from the prank.
“I couldn’t get up because I couldn’t feel my hands, I couldn’t feel my legs, my feet, nothing. I was numb,” said Kathleen Dejesus, who is just one “Skull Breaker Challenge” victim.
From a skull fracture to a full out concussion and even paralysis are realistic injuries that can occur, and there is no way to predict which one you will receive should you take part.
This is not the first challenge on TikTok to cause harm. The penny outlet challenge was the latest one of concern before the skull breaker challenge was born onto social media platforms.
The app is said to be working to take content off that could encourage dangerous behavior. And when searching for the challenge, more “warning” videos are coming up, urging people not to take part.
“You could hit the back of your head, and that could cause anything from a skull fracture to the brain bleed to a concussion, and you can even have a neck injury,” said Mike Patrick, an emergency medicine physician at Nationwide Children’s Hospital urging of the real dangers involved. “You can literally break your back.”