Duct Tape Challenge Ends in Life-Threatening Injury for Teen
(ABC News) — A Washington state teenager was seriously injured after taking the duct tape challenge – the viral activity in which participants’ bodies are wrapped in duct tape and they try to set themselves free.
In most cases, friends tape participants while they are seated but on Jan. 16, Skylar Fish’s friend taped him while he was standing. As the 14-year-old tried to free himself, he fell. His head hit the concrete, causing a brain aneurysm.
“I just regret doing that challenge that day,” Skylar told ABC News. “I wanted to try it because I thought, ‘Oh, it might be fun,’ but now I know it’s not a good idea.”
Skylar spent roughly two weeks in the hospital, before being sent to a rehabilitation center.
“I’m so thankful everything played out the way it did after the accident happened because if it didn’t I wouldn’t have my son now,” Skylar’s mom, Sarah Fish, told ABC News.
The duct tape challenge is not the first dangerous challenge to gain online popularity.
The cinnamon challenge, which was popular a few years ago, involved consuming a tablespoon of ground cinnamon in 60 seconds without drinking any fluid to wash it down.
In April 2015, the Kylie Jenner lip challenge – named for the reality TV star and sister of Kim Kardashian – also went viral. In that challenge, girls would suck on a water bottle or shot glass to make their lips expand and look like those of the reality star. Jenner later admitted that she used temporary lip fillers to achieve the full-lipped look.
Ericka Souter, the editor of Mom.me, said the Internet has changed how pranks like these impact kids today.
“It makes it a global phenomenon so kids aren’t just competing with each other in their small towns or among their circle, they’re sharing the video, they want likes, they want other people to do it and they want to one-up each other,” Souter said today on “Good Morning America.” “It creates this frenzy and excitement that we’re not used to, that we didn’t experience when we were teens doing silly stuff.”
Souter recommends having frank conversations with your children when things like the duct tape challenge go viral.
“Parents have told us that when they have a conversation with their child and it’s not talking down or yelling at them, it’s more of like, ‘Look, this is going on. This is scary. This can happen,’ then their kids respond better and they’re more likely to make better choices,” she said.