The South African Police Service has posted a warning regarding the latest trending social media challenge, urging parents to guide their children to "become safe and responsible users on social networking websites."
Their warning comes in response to a video showing three local Pretoria-based boys doing the trending TikTok skull breaker challenge.
And it's not called the skull breaker for nothing.
From what we can see, the challenge involves three people, two of them know the gag, while one remains clueless.
The participants instruct each other to jump up, and as the unsuspecting person jumps, the other two trip the third person up.
Luckily in this instance, the trio performed the challenge on grass and the falling boy seems to land with his skull intact.
The video has since been removed by the user.
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"Most people doing it are teenagers"
TikTok has since removed all content showing the challenge, stating that the platform does "not allow content that encourages, promotes or glorifies dangerous challenges that might lead to injury."
CB Brazil reports that a 16-year-old Brazilian teen has died due to injuries caused after being pranked with the skull breaker challenge.
In Thailand, the challenge has already been banned and deemed a crime carrying a two-year sentence.
Head of the Thailand-based Prasat Neurological Institute, Thanin Vejjapinan, has urged parents to speak to their children about the dangers.
"Warn your children not to play this dangerous game and stop sharing its videos. Most people doing it are teenagers who don't fully understand its risks."
"Outlandishly stupid" behaviour? Blame it on the teen brain
According to Psychology and Criminology lecturer James McCue, there is a biological reason why teens engage in "outlandishly stupid" behaviour.
"The relationship between brain development and the risk of making poor choices... is referred to as psychosocial maturity. Overall, teenagers' psychosocial immaturity makes them more likely to: seek excitement and engage in risk-taking behaviour."
McCue offers six ways parents can teach their teens to make sound decisions, one of them, he says, is using mistakes as teaching moments.
"Use these lived experiences to generate discussion about where the decision making went wrong, and how to make better choices in the future."
Read more advice by James McCue here: A parent's guide to why teens make bad decisions and go have the 'why social media challenges are dumb, and you shouldn't do them' talk with your child, asap!
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