The Danger of Social Media Performance Fads

The Danger of Social Media Performance Fads

Flaura Winston Warns of Duct Tape, Cinnamon and 'Salt and Ice' Challenges

Writing in a column in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Flaura Winston, Scientific Director of the Center for Injury Research and Prevention at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and LDI Senior Fellow warns parents about the latest dangers of social media high-risk performance fads.


Flaura Winston, MD, PhD, Penn Professor of Pediatrics and LDI Senior Fellow

These include duct tape challenges that require teens to wrap themselves in duct tape and struggle to break free in the shortest time possible, cinnamon challenges in which teens ingest a heaping spoon of cinnamon in 60 seconds, the salt and ice challenges which has teens coating a body part with salt and then applying ice to see who can withstand the pain the longest, and a number of equally dangerous performances. 

Dangerous viral antics
These risky stunts are all done in front of video cameras for upload onto various social medial sites.

Winston, MD, PhD and Professor of Pediatrics at Penn's Perelman Medical School, advises parents, "As a parent it is important to keep track of what is trending on social media. You might be uninterested, confused, or possibly shocked by what you see, and your teen's reaction might be different. Novelty piques teens' interest; virally spreading through social media gives the content an air of important."

She points out, "Recently, a teen in Washington state suffered a serious brain injury and facial fractures while participating in the duct tape challenge with his friends."