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Part of the hype in today’s world of social media and YouTube are posting videos of people doing hilarious, outrageous and sometimes outright dangerous challenges. Users love sharing these videos. Not all of these challenges are deadly; the ice bucket challenge was done for a good cause. Jimmy Kimmel’s “ I ate your Halloween candy” is harmless and fun.

Some take the cake and go beyond crazy to downright shocking and life-threatening. Wee all know ingesting laundry detergent is unsafe. Packaging labels warn not to put the pods in our mouths; yet kids are egging each other on, seeing who can come up with the ridiculous reaction to eating the poisonous stuff. Of course, they’re posting their responses online, and people love the results.

This Tide Pod challenge shows kids gagging after eating the pods; spitting out the foamy mess or worse still, swallowing them whole.

People are becoming creative in how they’re eating their Tide Pods. How about on pizza? Try it on a hamburger. It’s all about using peer pressure to convince friends to try one. Though the videos seem harmless, they are anything but.

They don’t show what can really happen if you eat a pod. You can receive burns on your lips, mouth or your esophagus. Consuming laundry detergent can also cause vomiting and other serious medical problems. If you eat the dissolvable membrane surrounding the soap, this can damage your nervous system, which can lead to fatigue, breathing trouble, and even cardiac arrest or coma.

The maker of Tide Pods, Proctor and Gamble has taken many steps to ensure people don’t swallow their product. They have the warning labels on the packaging. They’ve made the product childproof, so little fingers can’t open them. They’ve even used celebrity endorsements to tell young people to stay away from these lethal pods. On their website, football player, Rob Gronkowski (a.k.a. “Gronk”) telling viewers, clear as day, not to consume them.

With all these notices out there, why do these young people still decide to ingest the detergent? Their videos are being loved and shared. It’s not all about the taste of the pods. How about we stop sharing their videos? They won’t get the reaction they’re hoping for. Why not show the destruction eating what’s in these pods can do to their insides. Maybe seeing that will deter them from eating them?

If parents don’t lock up poisonous household items, maybe they should consider it. If doing so will keep their children safe, it’s probably a good idea.

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