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Tranquilizer Challenge: 15 Students Hospitalised after Trying Dangerous TikTok Trend

15 children between the ages of 10 and 12 are in hospital after competing in a new dangerous internet trend called the tranquilizer challenge.

This particular challenge involves taking sedatives and seeing who can stay awake the longest. The most common drug being used is the sedative clonazepam, a seizure and anxiety medication.

The 15 children, who all live in Mexico, reportedly took part in the tranquilizer challenge earlier this week. They were all in grades 5 and 6, so between the ages of 10 and 12.

There are no details on how the children obtained the medication as you need a script to get it. However, officials believe the children could have bought the drugs over-the-counter – and have warned stores against illegally selling the controlled substance. 

What is the tranquilizer challenge?

The tranquilizer challenge is a TikTok trend where “the last one to fall asleep wins.” The tranq challenge is growing in popularity in several parts of North America with four additional schools in Mexico reporting incidents just last week.

Parents are being warned to keep an eye out for this challenge, to monitor their children’s social media usage and to talk to their children about the risks associated with this challenge.

What is Clonazepam?

Clonazepam is a sedative that works by slowing down a person’s central nervous system, similar to Xanax. It’s designed to relax the person and its most common side effect is drowsiness.

However, there are some serious side effects if too much is taken including

  • irregular heartbeat
  • chest pain
  • low blood pressure
  • seizures
  • trouble breathing
  • damage to the brain
  • coma or death

There is also no information on the students’ current conditions or what dosage they took. 

TikTok Challenges to be aware of

Unfortunately, TikTok is full of risky challenges – things that we know are stupid and would never try, but things that may appeal to the younger audience. Below are six dangerous TikTok challenges every parent needs to know:

The pass-out challenge 

The pass-out challenge has been around since 2008 but it’s only picked up momentum in the past three years, thanks to TikTok. This viral challenge, also known as speed dreaming, fainting game or the game of choking, encourages people to see how long they can hold their breath, basically challenging young children to lose consciousness.

According to Financial Review, the pass-out challenge has been linked to the deaths of at least 20 kids aged 14 or younger in the past 18 months including an 8-year-old in America, a 9-year-old in America, a 12-year-old in Argentina, a 12-year-old in England and a 14-year-old in Scotland.

The blue whale challenge

Another concerning challenge is the Blue Whale Challenge. This challenge encourages teens to complete 50 challenges in 50 days, the last being suicide. It allegedly started in Russia in 2016 and has allegedly been linked to hundreds of deaths.

The skull-breaking challenge 

This challenge involves two people tricking a third person into jumping into the air and then kicking their feet out from under them. And filming it to upload to TikTok. Also known as the Trip Jump Challenge, the person being tripped has a very good chance of landing on his skull.

The Melanotan trend 

While this isn’t really a challenge, it does pose some risks and is quite popular in Australia, especially for teenaged girls. The trend encourages users to snort Melanotan drops or use a nasal spray to achieve the perfect tan.  Both products are not approved for marketing or sale in Australia, but, it’s still possible to get them online illegally.

The Tide Pod Challenge

The ‘challenge’ involves putting a pod of laundry detergent in your mouth and trying to chew it. And yes, it looks as disgusting (and stupid) as it sounds but teens are still doing it. It usually ends with the challenger (unsurprisingly) gagging or spewing up the detergent. The Washington Post reports there have been 37 reported poisoning cases among US teenagers so far this year, with half of them being intentional.

The Ikea Challenge 

Also known as the Hiding Craze, this challenge sees teens hiding in Ikea stores and then filming their antics. The goal is to remain hidden for 24-48 hours. It sounds absolutely insane, but it’s actually something teens are getting away with, including in Australia. Last year three Australian teens managed to remain in an Ikea store in Logan, QLD overnight. They shared their antics on TikTok a few days later.

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Avatar of Jenna Galley

Born and raised in Canada, Jenna now lives in Far North Queensland with her tribe. When the mum-of-three is not writing, you can find her floating in the pool, watching princess movies, frolicking on the beach, bouncing her baby to sleep or nagging her older kids to put on their pants.

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