DAYTON. Ohio (WDTN) – There’s no doubt that Tik Tok has gained popularity among young people. While the app itself poses no threat to kids, Abbey Pettiford, injury prevention coordinator at Dayton Children’s, said the challenges posed on the platform could be dangerous.
“You can get really hurt. [They] can even lead to death or needing serious surgery so you want to make sure that when you’re doing these Tik Tok trends, if you’re trying to participate, that it’s not something dangerous [and that] it’s something harmless to your body.”
Pettiford said one of the most alarming challenges seen by medical experts was the Tide Pod Challenge, where app users attempted to eat the laundry detergent packs on camera. But a handful of other dangerous dares have become popular since then and Pettiford said she wants families to be aware of just how unsafe trying them can be.
“Recently on Tik Tok, some people have been eating — or they’re not trying to eat — but they’re using magnets as tongue piercings. So they put it on the top and the bottom of their tongue, and if you accidentally swallow a magnet, even just one can be really harmful. But if you swallow two or more magnets, they kind of in your digestive system can tear through different parts because they’re trying to find each other.”
That force, she said, often requires serious surgery, or could result in fatalities. To prevent those situations, Pettiford said parents should come up with an effective plan for positive social media use, and talk to kids about confidence and peer pressure.
“Sometimes kids are pretty impulsive. So…taking a moment, taking a deep breath and thinking, ‘You know, is this really something I want to do and what could be the consequences of those actions?’ So, teaching kids to do that before they act is really important, as well as just not just following the crowd. Be your own person and be a leader.”
To learn more about modeling positive behavior or social media and how to create a social media action plan for you kids, click here.