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‘Could kill someone:’ Doctors warn against new social media ‘Skull Breaker Challenge’

BALTIMORE — In January, it was the #Outlet Challenge. Doctors are now warning of another dangerous social media “challenge” that could kill.

There seems to be a never-ending supply of potentially dangerous social media “challenges” — the Tide Pod Challenge, the Bottle Flipping Challenge, and the Cinnamon Challenge, to name a few. While they might be meant to simply serve as fun and games, doctors say they can be anything but.

Here’s how the so-called “Skull Breaker Challenge” works (and it’s easy to see why it’s dangerous): Two people convince a third person to jump into the air — and then kick their legs out from under them.

“They’re obviously not your friends if they do something like that,” said a Baltimore man after seeing video of the “challenge.”

“That’s awful — they’re gonna have a concussion,” said a Baltimore woman in response to the video.

The videos have been making the rounds on social media sites like Tik Tok.

“As a mother, first of all, I hope that it wouldn’t happen to my daughter, and then, the second piece is, I hope she wouldn’t do that to anyone,” said a Baltimore mom.

While it might be done as a joke, Dr. Richard Lebow, an emergency room physician at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital, warned the consequences can be anything but.

“At best, you could get a bruise,” said Dr. Lebow. “At worst, you could die. Injuries can trend from a severe concussion, a skull fracture, a neck fracture, which can result in paralysis, plenty of risk fractures from trying to break your fall, and literally, if you do bleed inside your brain, it could result in death.”

The Shenker family from New Jersey knows all about the potential dangers. The Skull Breaker Challenge sent their 13-year-old son to the hospital with a concussion.

“My son does not remember anything that happened, and I’m grateful for that,” said the boy’s mother.

“These are not funny jokes to pull,” said the boy’s father. “They can put a kid in the hospital, and could potentially kill someone.”

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