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Social Media Sites Are Fighting Back Against the Dangerous Tide Pod Challenge (But Teens Aren't Stopping)

The online craze is urging teenagers to poison themselves.


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If you have a tween or teen, you’ve probably heard of the Tide Pod Challenge by now. What’s the challenge all about? Adolescents have been filming themselves putting Tide detergent pods in their mouths and chewing on them, causing the pods to break.

This is clearly super dangerous; kids have already died from accidentally ingesting the pods. The detergent can cause violent vomiting, respiratory distress, severe eye irritation and even temporary loss of vision. And it gets worse: think seizure, pulmonary edema, respiratory arrest, coma and death. But the obvious peril doesn’t seem to be a strong enough deterrent: in the first 15 days of 2018, the American Association of Poison Control Centers got the same number of calls about teen exposure to laundry packets as it did in the entirety of 2016.

In fact, the AAPCC reported 86 cases of intentional exposure among 13- to 19-year-olds dealt with by poison control centers.

To discourage the dangerous trend from continuing, YouTube says the site will remove videos that show the pods being ingested. Facebook has also removed similar videos from its platforms, including Instagram. Even the American Association of Poison Control Centers issued an alert in response to the increasingly popular hashtag #TidePodChallenge.

Amazon is one of the more recent companies joining the defense, having removed all online comments joking about how “delicious” the pods are.

Unfortunately, the efforts haven’t seemed to halt the movement just yet (there’s even evidence that some are vaping with detergent now, too).

If you have young kids or toddlers, lock laundry pods away securely where your child can’t reach them and mistakenly assume they’re edible. If you have a teenager, you might want to do the same, and make sure to talk to them about the serious health risks the challenge poses.

If your teen decides to try this (against your warnings) call Poison Help at 1-800-222-1222 or text Poison to 797979.

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