A 16-year-old broke her neck after being egged on by her friends as she was trying the ‘skull breaker’ on TikTok.
Sarah Platt issued a warning after she was rushed to a hospital on a spinal board as she lost feeling in her right leg.
“It was just a trend that was around at the time. We thought making the TikTok would be fun and funny but I didn’t really want to take part because I just didn’t want to get hurt. But it was a little bit of peer pressure,” she said.
The ‘skull breaker’ challenge involves two people kicking your legs from underneath you so you can land on your head.
At the hospital, doctors found that Sarah had broken three bones in her neck in addition to her T5 vertebrae.
Two years later, she still suffers complications as she also developed postural tachycardia syndrome.
“I want to try and make people more aware not to do it, because it could end in someone getting hurt,” Sarah added.
Her mother, Jane Platt, also said: “We were one of the lucky ones. She’s alive and walking – thank god – but we are obviously having to deal with something else as a result.”
Former police officer John Staines, now an online safety expert, speaks to children who have seen dangerous challenges on social media.
“Parents think TikTok is full of happy dances and don’t realize there is a darker side,” he said.
“People blame TikTok but they have got billions of users and they can’t possibly watch all videos. Even the best algorithms in the world couldn’t do that,” Staines continued.
“With all social media platforms the parent needs to be part of the journey. And the child must be able to speak to the parents.”
This comes after the grieving mother of Archie Battersbee, who tragically died while trying the ‘blackout challenge,’ accused social media giants of failing to tackle such dangerous challenges.
Hollie Dance believes Archie is not the only victim of the blackout challenge, where people try to choke themselves until they pass out.
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