Top Ten Most Dangerous Trends

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The “Eraser Challenge,” once popular during the late 2010’s, calls for young kids to rub their arms with erasers until they started to bleed.

Alexa Uc, Staff Writer

Through the years, pop culture and the evolution of resources such as social media and other entertainment sources have been shaping our social norms, games, and expectations for each other. The key word being games: as time progresses, more and more people begin involving themselves in the newest controversial trends to surprise others; the “shock factor” growing more valuable in social media presence.

1. Car Surfing: 1980 

This trend involved people standing on tops of cars unsecured while driving fast. Car surfing often results in serious injuries, and even death. These injuries can occur at any speed. Accidents often happen when the driver makes sharp turns, changes speed, or stops. The most common injuries from car surfing include broken bones, back and neck injuries that could result in paralysis, traumatic brain injuries, and death.

2. Ice and Salt: 2000’s

This trend involves putting ice and salt onto your skin until you cannot physically handle the pain anymore. The reaction of ice and salt can get as cold as −18 °C (0 °F). The salt and ice challenge can cause second-degree and third-degree injuries, similar to the effect of frostbite, or being burnt with the metal end of a lighter. This trend can also cause painful open sores to form on the skin.

3. The “Cinnamon Challenge:” 2001

This trend had people eating/putting a spoon full of cinnamon in your mouth and trying to hold it in for as long as possible, causing people to cough violently. This can lead to kids gagging, coughing, choking, and having a burning sensation in the mouth, nose, and throat. In more serious cases this challenge leads to vomiting, nosebleeds, and tightness in the chest. Because it was mostly shared through social media among young kids, this trend mostly affected younger children and teenagers.

4. Homemade Braces: 2015

People began putting rubber bands in between your teeth to make them come closer together as ¨DIY (Do It Yourself)” braces. This trend can cause damage to your teeth, such as painful bone damage, tooth wear, and tooth loss, along with jaw and gum damage. This trend also leads to infections in the mouth due to the bacteria that came from the foreign objects. For some people, this trend did not help, but only made things worse, like creating new gaps between teeth. 

5. The “Eraser Challenge:” 2017

The “eraser challenge” was made up of kids rubbing erasers on their arm, or any part of their skin, while they recite the alphabet. The friction on the skin from rubbing the eraser for so long can lead to cuts, scrapes and even burns. Kids make this into a competition, and whoever was able to last the longest or have the grossest burn/cut, won.

6. The Tide Pod Challenge: 2018   

This ¨challenge¨ involved people eating tide detergent pods. Consuming detergent could result in an upset stomach, but with highly concentrated detergent, it could cause vomiting, lethargy, gasping, and possibly stopped breathing. As a result of this trend, in certain stores, detergent pods are locked up, and have to be handed out by store workers.

7. The Boiling Water Trend: 2019 

This trend was most popular when there was cold weather back in 2019, the idea was to boil water, then go outside and throw it up into the cold air for it to freeze. This trend was dangerous because of how the water was thrown. The boiling water was thrown up over your head to give the cool effect for pictures, but if it was not cold enough, the water would still come down ,and land onto the skin and cause serious burns to your body, including second-degree burns and third-degree burns.

8. The Bird Box Challenge: 2019  

Taking after the Netflix movie Bird Box(2019), people attempted to do everyday things blindfolded by themselves. This could lead to an injury since your sight is gone and you are alone, taking away any sense of security. Not only was this harmful to the things around you and yourself, it was harmful to the blind community. It created the false impression that people who are blind are just stumbling around, unaware of their surroundings, and unable to do simple tasks. This trend was very hated due to the harmful stereotypes pushed onto the blind community.

9. Randonautica: 2020

Randonautica was an app that let you set your intentions and gave random coordinates and locations. This app is as safe as you make it. People go into this looking for an adventure and some go into it hoping to find what others found and posted about. During the 2020 quarantine, people saw this as a good idea to get out and see new places, but for some people, it was unsettling. Over this time, the game was a popular subject on the social media app TikTok, and people were posting videos about finding dead bodies and other unsettling sites. 

10. “Crate Stairs” Challenge: 2021

The most recent dangerous trend in 2021 started on August 13th, and is known as the “Crate Stairs” challenge. People have started to stack plastic crates to be stairs and attempt to walk up and down them. Shawn Anthony,(Yang, Padma, et al. “Is the Crate Challenge Making Real-World Problems a Second Thought?” Kulture Hub) an orthopedic surgeon, commented that injuries caused by falling during this challenge can include broken wrists, rib injuries, shoulder dislocations, ACL and meniscus tears, as well as spinal cord injuries.