social media users

Parents, Beware of These 5 Dangerous TikTok Challenges on Your Child's ‘For You' Page

Many children have become influenced by social media videos challenging them to perform harmful, criminal and even deadly acts

NBCUniversal Media, LLC

While TikTok is known for its seemingly never-ending stream of dancing, singing, cooking, lifestyle and comedy videos, some disturbing content has also surfaced on the popular platform.

Though the app is designed for ages 13 and up, many TikTok users are under the age of 18, an impressionable audience that can be easily swayed by viral trends.

Some "TikTok challenges" — viral videos that users are encouraged to recreate on their own profiles — have led to crime, injury and even death.

TikTok, self-described as an "entertainment platform," denounces its role in spreading these dangerous challenges.

However, many children learn of the viral trends when they appear on their "For You" page — an endless feed of video content uniquely curated for each individual user on the platform.

The app has taken precautions to filter and block videos that could endanger the community, as they told NBC News following increased injuries surrounding a 2021 trend.

"TikTok prohibits content that promotes or glorifies dangerous acts, and we remove videos and redirect searches to our Community Guidelines to discourage such content," a TikTok spokesperson said in an email to NBC. "We encourage everyone to exercise caution in their behavior whether online or off."

Despite the platform's efforts, some minors on the app continue to participate in dangerous challenges.

Parents with a children on social media should be aware of these five dangerous TikTok challenges that many children have been exposed to online:

The Orbeez Challenge

Two 18-year-olds are facing battery charges after police say they shot at multiple people with water beads Orbeez. NBC 6's Jamie Guirola reports

In late June, two Broward teenagers were arrested for shooting at civilians with an Orbeez gun, an idea they got from their For You page on TikTok.

The teens were participating in the #orbeezchallenge, which involves filling a toy gun with water beads. In some cases, these water beads are frozen to make them harder and more painful when they come in contact with one's skin.

The boys drove through Pembroke Pines where they allegedly shot over two dozen people, including a senior citizen, and consequently were charged with misdemeanor battery and felony battery, police said.

"This type of challenge which is being spread on social media is a crime. Pointing any type of firearm at a person, even a pellet gun, is not a joke and can lead to dangerous consequences," Pembroke Pines police said in a statement. "In addition, these pellets can cause injury to others or damage to property. We’re asking parents to help us keep our community safe by speaking with your children about the dangers of participating in these types of pranks."

The "How Far Can You Dig?" Challenge

In the 'How Far Can You Dig?' challenge, TikTok users are digging holes as deep as they can on their beach days.

While this seems like a harmless and innocent trend, it has proven to be harmful to beachgoers and local wildlife, according to Sanibel Mayor Holly Smith.

This has been the case in Sanibel and Marco Island, where officials are urging participants in the trend to refill the hole after filming their TikTok to avoid danger for people walking along the beach.

The Marco Island Police Department says that refilling holes would also protect sea turtles and allow them to nest both peacefully and safely.

The Blackout Challenge

While the Blackout Challenge has been circulating since 1995 under various names, it resurfaced on TikTok in late 2021, causing multiple children to die while participating.

The trend encouraged participants to hold their breath or strangulate themselves until they passed out, promising a "euphoric" feeling as a result.

The parents of Lalani Erika Renee Walton, 8, and Arriani Jaileen Arroyo, 9, are currently suing TikTok over its alleged role in their daughters' deaths.

“TikTok has specifically curated and determined that these Blackout Challenge videos — videos featuring users who purposefully strangulate themselves until losing consciousness — are appropriate and fitting for small children,” the lawsuit said.

Though the hashtags have since been removed and blocked from the platform, many fear that the persistent trend will resurface under a new name.

The Kick Door Challenge

Police in South Florida are warning of the ramifications of a dangerous TikTok trend that involves teens kicking in people's doors. NBC 6's Claudia DoCampo reports

Earlier this year, the Kick Door Challenge ran rampant on social media, spurring an uptick in juvenile crime across Broward County.

The challenge involved teenagers kicking strangers' doors, a trend police say caused property damage and increased the risk of lethal injury to the kids.

"The people that are pulling off these kinds of activities, they don't know how the homeowner is going to react," Broward Sheriff's Office's Carey Codd said. "It's possible that could escalate into a physical confrontation, injuries, even lethal force."

Nasal Spray Tan Challenge

Doctors are warning against a new TikTok trend that says you can get a tan from a simple nasal spray which is making people very sick.

After the use of a nasal spray said to cause tanned skin went viral on TikTok, doctors quickly warned against the challenge that resulted in sickness.

Many young women who participated in the trend experienced nausea, stomach aches, and even melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, according to dermatologist Dr. Melissa Levin.

Dermatologists warned that since the sprays were not FDA approved, the public should stop using them immediately.

This particular challenge taught many about the danger of using social media such as TikTok as a replacement for a doctor.

Contact Us