Reports of a ‘condom challenge’ sweeping across the internet might be exaggerated, but it’s based on a dangerous trend.
A number of news outlets have been writing about a new ‘craze’ online that challenges mainly teenagers to put an unwrapped condom up one nostril and inhale until the condom comes out of their mouths.
The challenge is real, but the ‘craze’ is not recent.
Videos of teenagers doing the potentially dangerous challenge are once more circulating on the web – but most of them are years old, according to debunking website Snopes.
A look at the most popular YouTube videos about this trend are from four years ago.
It appears that coverage of the condom challenge comes off the back of a recent dangerous trend indy100 covered earlier this year called the ‘Tide Pod Challenge’.
The challenge is to eat laundry detergent capsules and post a video of it online.
Doing so is incredibly dangerous. Not only does it present a potential choking hazard – like the condom challenge – but the capsules contain ethanol, polymers and hydrogen peroxide.
Ingesting these chemicals can induce vomiting, coughing, breathing troubles, stomach pain and even death.
Canada reissued a health warning against eating laundry detergent and Tide manufacturer Procter & Gamble said in a statement:
They should not be played with... even if meant as a joke. Safety is no laughing matter.
Bruce Lee, an associate professor at John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health echoed these sentimental and issued a similar warning about the condom challenge in a Forbes column:
The condom could easily get stuck in your nose or your throat, blocking your breathing or causing you to choke.