This Viral Online Trend Is The New Ice Bucket Challenge And It's Actually Deadly AF

Think of "the cinnamon challenge", but deadly.

First it was the cinnamon challenge, then teenagers started playing the bath-salt challenge. 

The dared each other to douse themselves in rubbing alcohol and set themselves ablaze. Now? They're eating laundry detergent for likes.

The alarming new trend involves teenagers eating Tide capsules, and it's taking over YouTube.

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The viral video meme has taken off in recent weeks, with young kids uploading videos of themselves biting into those detergent pods you stick in the washing machine with your clothes. Even a small amount can make you vomit, choke or have difficulty breathing. You might even die if the detergent enters your lungs. 

In 2017, poison control centres received reports of more than 10,500 exposures to highly concentrated packs of laundry detergent by children 5 and younger, according to the American Association of Poison Control Centers.

There has since been an outcry from Tide, Health Canada, parents, and anyone with half a brain. As a result, most Tide Pod Challenge videos have been taken down from YouTube.

The meme appears to have begun as a 2015 article by parody news site The Onion. A follow-up - headlined ‘Tide Debuts New Sour Apple Detergent Pods’ - published in November last year comically claims that the brand has unveiled a new sour apple flavour to keep detergent-eating children entertained.

The first two weeks of 2018 have subsequently seen a spike in the number of cases of detergent pod ingestion reported to the American Association of Poison Control Centers.

If you or anyone you know has taken part in the Tide Pod Challenge, Health Canada recommends immediately calling 911 or a Poison Control Centre.

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Jennifer Browne