The Ministry of Education in UAE has warned students against playing a dangerous online prank that has gone viral on social media platform TikTok. A ministry source said that the safety officers at public schools have been instructed to monitor students closely to ensure they are not taking part in what is known as the ‘skull breaker challenge’.
The challenge has reportedly injured teenagers in Canada and other parts of the world. It involves tricking an unsuspecting friend or acquaintance into jumping in the air for a video. While airborne, the victim’s legs are yanked from under him, making the person fall back flat on the ground.
A doctor in the UAE has warned that the dangerous prank can result in life-threatening injuries.
Dr Srinivas Janga, specialist neurosurgeon at Prime Hospital, said if someone falls with his head hitting the ground, “there is a risk of injury to the skull bones which can lead to life-threatening brain haemorrhage”. It could also cause life-threatening fractures.
This is not the first time that a social media challenge has caused concerns. In October last year, a UAE-based mother reported a harrowing story of how her son came home with a bruised neck. He was participating in the so-called ‘pass-out challenge’, where youngsters strangle themselves or each other in different ways to see how long they can last.
In November, parents in the UAE had expressed concerns over a dangerous challenge that involved Netizens sealing their bodies – even their heads sometimes – in large trash bags and sucking the air out with a vacuum cleaner.
Another challenge involved youngsters eating laundry detergent and daring others to do the same.