We live in weird times, times were anything that is put on social media by more than 10 people is becoming a trend. Some of the fun latest trends we saw were tattooed freckles, Pokemon Go and some truly disturbing ones like the Blue Whale Challenge which endangered the lives of many teenagers and sadly took lives of some as well. In a new dangerous trend, teenagers are eating detergent pods which has become a cause of worry for doctors and parents.
Videos started appearing a few days ago where multiple teenagers were seen popping colourful detergent capsules, in the “Tide pod challenge”. Later research revealed that this trend had first surfaced last year when a student filmed himself munching on Tide Pods, the most popular choice of detergent brand in America. To most, the whole thing is a joke, but some bolder teens have gone so far as to tuck in. Over the last month, the ‘Tide Pod Challenge’ has taken off. Teens are seen popping them in their mouths, eating the liquid and even cooking with the tablets.
As per doctors, the lure is thought to be down to aesthetic. Detergent capsules, and Tide Pods particularly, look fairly enticing. The colourful liquid makes the pouches resemble sweets, and the soft casing feels nice and squidgy.
One unnamed teenager told BuzzFeed that she heard about the craze on a Whatsapp challenge group and decided to record herself biting into one before sharing her meal on Twitter. “I wasn’t scared because I knew I wasn’t going to swallow it,” she said. “Just bite into it. And I washed my mouth out for quite some time afterwards.”
Now, doctors, parents, and manufacturers are begging youngsters to stop eating laundry liquid. In 2017, more than 10,000 children were exposed to washing detergent which poses serious health risks if ingested. Dr. Alfred Aleguas Jr., managing director of the Florida Poison Information Center in Tampa, told USA Today that the fad may even be ‘life-threatening’. According to him, swallowing even a small amount of the highly-concentrated detergent found in pods can cause diarrhea and vomiting. Enough of it would lead to breathing difficulties – and possibly death due to suffocation.
Although serious Twitter saw some sarcastic yet funny reaction to the challenge: