‘Tide pod challenge’ latest dangerous social media fad among teens

(WFLA) – The “Tide pod challenge” is the latest fad among teens on social media. Teens are challenging others to put a pod in their mouth, bite down on it and then post on social media.

The Tide pod challenge started as an online joke.

One tweet read, “The perfect meal. Retweet if you would eat this,” with a photo of a bowl of Tide pods.

“The things that are going around on social media is an attempt to get views and attempt to get clicks. It ceases to be fun and games when someone ends up in the emergency department,” said Alfred Aleguas, Poison Control Management Director.

So far this year, Poison Control knows of 40 instances where teens tried to eat Tide pods. Let’s just say it didn’t go so well.

“If you happen to aspirate either in the act of swallowing it and it gets in your lungs or in the act of vomiting, your lungs don’t handle detergents in there very well,” said Aleguas.

At this point, no one has died from the pod challenge but Tide pods have proved to be deadly.

“The pediatric fatalities that happened, kids got very sick, they became rapidly unconscious, changes in their blood pressure and their pulse and eventually respiratory and died,” said Aleguas.

Samanthan Minasian calls the trend silly but has friends who have tried it.

“It is more for the attention, they get a lot of satisfaction, you know, of other people enjoying what they post, so if they can do a challenge that makes them popular or people are talking about it at school in a positive light, kids are more drawn to that.”

Seventh grader Kate Petitt agrees.

“I don’t really know why they would want to. Probably just because they feel pressure and just want to impress people,” said Petitt.

The Poison Control Managing Director warns the few extra social media likes aren’t worth it.

“We just want them to be aware of that it is not without risk,” said Aleguas.

Poison Control is open 24/7. If you or someone you know needs help, dial 800-222-1222.

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