Experts warn of new social media trend, the ‘skull breaker’ challenge

National

LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY)- A warning for parents about a new viral trend on social media that’s leading to children getting severely injured.
It’s called the “skull breaker challenge.” 

People familiar with it say there needs to be a stop to this troubling trend.  
The “skull breaker challenge” is the newest trend circulating on the social media app, TikTok.

The viral videos show it involving two people tricking a third person into thinking they’re learning a new dance. When they all jump, the two people on either side kick the third person’s legs out from under them– causing them to fall– leading to life-long injury or even, death.
“The potential for brain injury is there. The potential for bleeding up unto life-threatening bleeding is there. Brain bruising, all of which can cause permanent neurologic deficits, worse than a concussion,” Dr. Ann Marie Flannery, pediatric neurosurgeon with Our Lady of Lourdes Women’s and Children’s Hospital, said. “You could have problems with vision problems, with balance problems, with moving your arms or legs. The risk is real.”

Pediatric neurosurgeons like Dr. Flannery have been aware of this phenomenon on social media— raising significant concerns about brain injury.

“The skull is a pretty solid construct, and if you’re going to fall on the back of your head which is where this impact would be with this skull cracker challenge that’s a very heavy bone and so to fall and break it is a lot of energy that would go towards the brain,” explained Dr. Flannery.

While medical experts are concerned about this new challenge, law enforcement alike are warning of the potential charges teenagers doing this to unknown victims could face.

The prank could lead to criminal charges, Acadia Parish Sheriff K.P. Gibson added.


“If they actually make contact by kicking the person’s leg out tripping them up or something with intent of making them fall then that could actually fall under the aspect of either a simple battery and again depending on the injury could turn into a second-degree battery which is actually a felony,” Gibson said.


A spokesperson for TikTok says its community guidelines do not allow content that encourages or promotes these dangerous challenges and says any reported behavior that violates those guidelines is removed.

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