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The Tide Pod Challenge: What Parents Need to Know

January 18, 2018 07:14 PM

(ABC 6 News) A crackdown on a dangerous new online trend called the "Tide Pod challenge." YouTube is now taking steps to remove any videos involving the challenge and those channels are given a strike for violating YouTube’s Community Guidelines.
 
Stories of young children eating Tide Pods used to be the headlines, now its teenagers. An increasing number of teens are biting into these laundry pods, some posting videos of them doing it.
 
The Education Director for the Minnesota Poison Control System, Kirk Hughes said, “If there was a product they were going to pick, they picked the absolute worst one that they could.”
 
If you ingest any part of the liquid aspect of the pod, Hughes said it can actually cause second-degree burns and cause swelling in the throat.
 
“It can permanently cause you to have difficulty swallowing the rest of your life and scar tissue forms," said Hughes.     
(ABC 6 News) - The American Association of Poison Control Center stated in the first 15 days of 2018, it received 39 such calls. The center's CEO, Stephen Kaminski said, "The laundry packet challenge is neither funny nor without serious health implications.”

Then what is it about these types of challenges that have teens wanting to join in?

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"Teenagers have a huge desire to fit in and they don't always know the best way to fit in," said Psychologist, Patricia Price.

Teens go to these lengths in order to gain likes and attract others online, Price said, but there's a big problem.

"The teenage brain relies heavily upon the amygdala, which is the part of the brain that is controlled by emotions and impulses. The portion of the brain that's in charge of rational thinking that is present in adults really isn't developed until fully developed until about the age of 25," said Price.

She also stated while parents may not be able to fully prevent their kids from doing these challenges, talking about them is critical.

"This is really important stuff, I mean it's not something that should just be joked about and brushed over. It's important for kids to know that their parents realize how serious it is," Price said.

"This is just the absolute wrong product to pick. I just can't emphasize that enough. It's a dangerous, dangerous product," said Hughes.
 
 


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