Here’s What TikTok Said About the Viral Social Media Challenge in UAE

What is the “skull breaker challenge”
Image Credit: Twitter

There is a dangerous online prank that has become the rage among youngsters and has gone absolutely viral on the popular social media platform TikTok. A warning has been issued by The Ministry of Education, warning the students against participating in the extremely dangerous online prank. Numerous Arabic media sources have reported that the Ministry of Education has urged the safety officers at public schools to monitor students and ensure that they are not participating in this dangerous online prank known as the ‘skull breaker challenge’.

What is the “skull breaker challenge”?

Teenagers all over the world have suffered mild to serious injuries as a result of this ridiculous channel. The challenge requires people to trick an unaware and unsuspecting friend to jump in the air for a video. While the person is in the air, the challenger will yank the legs from under him/her. This results in the victim falling flat on the ground, leading to numerous injuries.

When contacted about the challenge, a spokesperson from TikTok said:

“The safety and well-being of our users is a top priority at TikTok. As we make clear in our Community Guidelines, we do not allow content that encourages, promotes or glorifies dangerous challenges that might lead to injury. We will remove any such reported content.” 

Doctors talk about the grave risks of the skull breaker challenge

Dr. Srinivas Janga, a leading neurosurgeon who works at the Prime Hospital has warned against potentially life threatening injuries resulting from the skull breaker challenge.

According to Dr. Janga, if people fall with their head hitting the ground, “there is a risk of injury to the skull bones which can lead to life-threatening brain haemorrhage”. The impact can also result in numerous life threatening fractures to various bones.

Dr. Janga also spoke about the grave threat of back injuries associated with the skull breaker challenge. He said: “It can lead to paralysis of both lower limbs, which may lead to irreversible damage despite the best medical and surgical management. Falling over butts may lead to tail bone fracture, leading to neurological deficits like bowel and bladder incontinence.”

Sharjah based Zulekha Hospital’s orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Rahul Shivadey also chimed in with his opinion about this extremely dangerous prank. Dr. Shivadey said: “As the person it totally unawares of what is going to happen his focus is only on the act . Falling in such a manner can cause severe occipital damage and lead to temporary blindness as the visual centre’s are located in the posterior or back side of the brain. The person can sustain a severe concussion injury and sometimes intracranial bleeding leading to unconsciousness.”

“A severe form of injury leading to instant death can be due to cervical cord injury caused due to direct impact or a whiplash injury to the cervical  spine as the cardiac and respiratory centers of the body are located in that area. Anyways this prank has very serious repercussions and has to be completely discouraged by spreading awareness amongst all,” added Dr Shivadey.

Teenagers vow to prevent their friends from trying the “stupid stunt”

Speaking to a leading UAE daily, a lot of teenagers have said that they are going to severely discourage their friends from partaking in such “stupid stunts”. According to 19 year old American University of Sharjah student Andrew Mathew Mannil: “This new trend has ‘so-called’ friends putting each other in easily avoidable risk. Dangers of the skull breaker challenge should not be taken lightly. There should be awareness about its risks.”

Another 19 year old student Aaron Augustine said that “it was shocking that the dangerous stunt has gone viral on social media”.

“We teens need to understand that fun should not come at the risk of injury. I will seriously discourage anyone from trying this out,” Augustine went on to add.

As per eight grader Annica Stuthi who studies in GEMS Millennium Sharjah, the challenge is very scary and “definitely not funny”.

Skull breaker challenge isn’t the first dangerous viral challenge

This isn’t the first time that UAE has faced the problems of dangerous social media challenges that have gone viral across the country. Last October, a lot of kids were coming home from school with a bruised neck. That injury was the result of the viral “pass out challenge”. In this challenge, kids and teens strangled themselves and measured the time that it took them to pass out.

Another insane challenge was doing the rounds in November when hundreds of youngsters sealed themselves in large garbage bags and sucked the air out with a vacuum cleaner, seeing how long they can last before fainting because of suffocation. 

Another idiotic challenge saw youngsters eating (of all things) laundry detergent powders and provoking others to do the same. The person who could eat the most amount of laundry detergent won some bragging rights

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