Dumb, dangerous, and strange trends hit the news more often than anyone of us would like to see, but keeping your head in the sand about the risks teens are taking can be risky and dangerous.
As a parent, if you are thinking, “Not my kid, he is smarter than to try such a stupid thing,” you might want to think again. Even smart kids get lured in by the popularity generated on social media that comes with trying, recording, and posting themselves doing these crazy things, called challenges.
Over the years, tons of online challenges have become trendy; the condom challenge, the Tide-Pod challenge, the mannequin challenge, and the backpack challenge, just to name a few.
The deodorant challenge is the latest stupid thing teens are trying and Google trends show search interest climbing for “deodorant challenge.” These types of trends seem to reappear from time to time and this challenge previously peaked in search interest in 2017.
But, unfortunately, it’s back. Previously called the “social media craze that’s burning children’s skin,” the deodorant challenge has resurfaced on social media and YouTube, but I wouldn’t call it a social media craze this time around, not yet anyway.
The challenge is a test of endurance, how long can someone continuously spray deodorant directly to their bare skin? The longer the better. There is no prize for such endurance, only the popularity that comes along with the number of views and likes a post gets. This is why these kinds of challenges are so attractive to teenagers, the more dangerous the challenge, the more social media attention they are likely to get.
Dermatologist Dr. Doris Day said, “this is a very scary trend because basically, these kids are committing chemical burns.” She went on to tell Today, “the force of the aerosol itself and the temperature change on the skin can potentially cause second- and third-degree burns.”
The damage caused by the deodorant challenge is very real. It comes not from the deodorant itself, but from the delivery method. An aerosol spray cools quickly on the skin, essentially producing frostbite, resulting in a burn. The longer the spraying, the more serious the damage to the skin, and the worse the burn will be.
To watch a video of a teen in the U.K attempting the challenge, just click here.
Although there is not a lot of research on this challenge, one study, published in the journal Burns and Trauma, found that a small number of kids were trying it and of the patients who were between ages of 15 and 25 who presented with cold burns, 90 percent of them were due to deliberate self-inflicted injuries using deodorant sprays.
Hopefully, this trend will miss your child’s peer group, but the question parents need to consider is, how would you know if it has hit your child’s social scene? How would you know if your child is attempting one of these crazy challenges? How would you know if the second-degree burn on their arm was self-inflicted or an accident?
Parenting today requires a much smarter approach. Kids lives happen in cyberspace and not parenting in that space leaves the door open for trouble, and it prevents parents from having those really important parenting moments with their child. If you don’t know what your child is googling, doing, or saying online, you simply will not know if you need to intervene, educate, or discipline.
Social Judo is the smartest way for parents to get that information without spying on their child or scrolling through their devices. Alerts sent directly to a parents smartphone about the things that are of concern today is smarter parenting. Thankfully, it is now available.
Social Judo is the smartest parenting tool on the market. Get it today, you won’t be disappointed.
Andrea Difilippo is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker, nationally recognized parenting expert and Chief Parenting Officer with Social Judo.