While some teenagers across the country are creating movements like #NeverAgain and organizing marches for a cause, other teenagers are doing incredible (and sometimes stupid) things to get likes, views, and followers on social media — all in the hope of going viral.
According to multiple reports, teens are putting unwrapped condoms up their nostrils and inhaling them until the condom comes out of their mouth. Called the “Snorting Condom Challenge,” like other viral challenges, this one isn’t a new thing. It’s been making its online rounds for several years.
Although the condom challenge has been around for a while, it has recently made a comeback to social media. In 2013, Savannah Strong became one of the first YouTube stars to go viral with this trick. Her video has now been removed by YouTube for containing “harmful or dangerous content.” But similar videos date back to 2007.
Since then, thousands of people have recorded themselves over the years performing the snorting condom challenge and have shared the videos online.
According to Newsweek, Stephen Enriquez, a state education specialist based in Texas who teaches drug and alcohol prevention to parents, now also includes dangerous online trends and challenges kids might be experimenting with, such as the snorting condom challenge.
Enriquez told KMPH, “As graphic as it is, we have to show parents, because teens are going online looking for challenges and recreating them.”
His classes are bringing awareness to parents like Debbie Miller. After taking a look at a snorting condom challenge video she said, “I had never seen that before, so that was really a shock to me.” She has 11-year-old twins.
Snorting a condom can become a choking hazard if it blocks the airway. In addition to the unpleasant feeling one is likely to experience, infections and allergic reactions are likely to happen in the nasal cavities.
Forbes reports two medical case studies of women who have accidentally inhaled condoms while performing oral sex who have suffered medical complications. One woman came down with pneumonia and suffered a partial lung collapse after the condom got stuck in her lungs. The other woman got appendicitis when a condom fragment got stuck in her appendix.
We hope teens will move on to another “challenge” soon — one that doesn’t involve snorting condoms or eating detergent. But in the meantime, parents beware.
We contacted Stephen Enriquez to find out how common this challenge is, and will update readers if we hear back.