Science & Tech

Children hurt after taking part in liquid nitrogen TikTok trend

What If You Swallowed Liquid Nitrogen?

Children have been injured after taking part in a new TikTok trend which involves sweets doused in liquid nitrogen.

Around 25 children have been hurt after the ‘dragon’s breath’ snack, also known as chiki ngebul, became the focus of a viral trend in Indonesia.

The dish consists of a bowl of sweets covered in liquid nitrogen. If eaten before it’s burned off, it can be very dangerous.

It’s such a concern that the country’s health minister has warned against taking part in the trend.

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Dr Dicky Budiman, who is a doctor and researcher of global health security at Griffith University, said that liquid nitrogen was becoming more accessible. It’s often sold by street vendors and young children aren’t able to handle it safely.

'Dragons breath' has become a viral sensation in IndonesiaiStock

“Maybe now it’s decreasing [in price] and not only easier to access but also the number of new businesses using this liquid nitrogen is also increasing”, he said.

“For some teenagers, the experience [of] dangerous things [generates] more enthusiasm. They [are] eager to try it. That’s a dangerous thing,” he said.

According to Budiman, the risks include intestinal burns and perforations. He also stated that severe cases can lead to death [via The Guardian]

The Indonesian ministry of health’s director general, Maxi Rein Rondonuwu, also said in a statement that the trend could lead to breathing difficulties and skin burns.

“Liquid nitrogen (could reach temperatures) of minus 190 deg C. So if it comes into contact with the skin it can cause frostbite or cold burns... It could also cause respiratory and digestive problems if inhaled and swallowed (in large amounts),” the Health Ministry’s director for environmental health Anas Ma’ruf was also quoted as saying at a press conference last Thursday.

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