The ‘Deodorant Challenge’ is leaving kids with serious injuries

Kids. Why is that they always seem so determined to hurt themselves? As a parent of a baby and a toddler, I feel like I spend half of my day trying to keep them from breaking a limb on the playground or giving themselves a concussion by jumping headfirst off the couch.

But, that’s nothing compared to what parents of older kids have to deal with! If you have a child in middle school, listen up: There’s a new trend going around elementary schools called the “Deodorant Challenge” and it’s very dangerous.

The idea behind the harmful game is simple: Kids hold a can of aerosol deodorant close to their skin and spray it for as long as they can stand, generally while saying the alphabet, singing a song or performing some other kind of challenge. It’s a test of endurance, as the deodorant actually burns the skin. MTV English News tweeted about this dangerous trend, and you can see the red marks on this young girl’s arm:

As Dr. Doris Day, a board-certified dermatologist explains to TODAY, “The force of the aerosol itself and the temperature change on the skin can potentially cause second- and third-degree burns.”

Ouch! Where the heck do kids come up with this stuff? When I was in middle school, I remember playing games where we would rub each other’s forearms as hard as we could to create “strawberry patches,” but today’s kids are taking these games to a whole other level.

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In fact, the deodorant challenge is just the latest in these endurance games. The so-called eraser challenge (in which kids would rub erasers on their arms as hard as they could) ended up with several children having to go to the hospital as a result of burns and skin abrasions. These games can also cause lasting scars.

Sadly, it seems that social media is encouraging these dangerous trends, as kids take photos of their injuries and post them to Instagram, Tumblr and Facebook. They see it as a badge of honor, and the online attention only tempts more kids to join in. Hence, it’s important for parents to talk to their kids about the risks of these challenges, and to help them realize that these games could come with serious consequences.

RELATED: Watch Out For This Dangerous Internet Challenge That Could Send Your Child To The E.R.

Parents of every generation have probably said the same thing, but jeez, parenting in 2017 is tough!