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YouTube cracks down on dangerous viral Tide Pod Challenge

YouTube cracks down on dangerous viral Tide Pod Challenge
© JRos | Dreamstime.com

I'm sure you'd agree that as a parent or grandparent, keeping children safe is the number one priority. This was difficult enough before the days of the internet, now it's difficult times 1,000.

Twisted challenges like the latest one to go viral does not help.

You're not going to believe what teens are posting on social media now. It's extremely dangerous to their health.

Have you heard of this latest challenge?

I'm talking about a crazy phenomenon making the rounds called the Tide Pod Challenge. Tide Pods are brightly-colored liquid laundry detergent packets.

What's happening is, teens are filming themselves eating Tide Pods and posting the video on social media. You read that right, they're eating Tide Pods! Can you believe it?

It's become such a problem that the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) have issued the following warning about it:

"The American Association of Poison Control Centers strongly warns individuals about the dangers of using single-load laundry packets other than as intended. Proper storage is advised to reduce the chances of potential harmful exposure to these products."

The AAPCC said over the past five years, poison control centers have received well over 50,000 calls relating to this type of liquid detergent exposure. However, most of those calls came from unintentional misuse by children 5-years-old and younger.

Now, teenagers are ingesting these laundry packets intentionally, and uploading videos of them doing it to social media sites and YouTube. The AAPCC said that poison control centers handled 39 cases of intentional exposures among 13-to-19-year-olds in 2016 and 53 cases in 2017.

In just the first 15 days of 2018, poison control centers already handled 39 such cases. Ingestion accounted for 91 percent of these reported exposures.

AAPCC's CEO said, "The laundry packet challenge is neither funny nor without serious health implications. The intentional misuse of these products poses a real threat to the health of individuals. We have seen a large spike in single-load laundry packet exposures among teenagers since these videos have been uploaded."

There are some very serious potential health risks from ingesting liquid detergent. They include seizures, pulmonary edema, respiratory arrest, coma, and even death.

As you can see, this is a very serious situation. Make sure to share this article with friends and family so they know what's going on. Simply click the share button on the left side of this article to post it on Facebook.

Safety suggestions

Poison control centers across the country are urging parents and caregivers to follow these safety precautions:

  • Always keep detergent containers closed, sealed and stored up high, out of the reach of children.
  • Follow the instructions on the product label.
  • Call your local poison center at 1-800-222-1222 immediately if you suspect a child has come in contact with this detergent.

I know it's difficult to believe that anyone would actually take these types of challenges, but it's happening. The good news is, YouTube and Facebook have agreed to delete videos showing the Tide Pod Challenge.

Let's make sure everyone is aware of the potential dangers involved. Hopefully, that will help stop this practice in its tracks.

What's Google doing about it?

Google is finally getting onboard and cracking down on these viral videos.  The company says it will remove any tide pod eating videos that are brought to its attention and will cancel the channel that uploaded it.

To report a Google Site for violating any of the content policies:

  1. Click the Report Abuse link that appears at the bottom of every Sites page.
  2. Complete the report.
  3. Click Submit.

After you fill out and submit a report, Google will review it and take action if appropriate.

Speaking of scary situations online, the FBI is warning against 'virtual kidnappers'

Hopefully, the closest you ever come to a kidnapping/ransom scenario is on a movie screen. Just the thought of having to deal with a kidnapper is horrifying. Unfortunately, virtual kidnapping scams are on the rise. What they do is unthinkable and what's even scarier is that it's believable!

Click here to learn how to stay protected from virtual kidnappers.

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