Schools are warning parents about a dangerous trend that has been leaving kids with burns and infections. The cinnamon challenge has been replaced another challenge, that’s also dangerous to children.
The Eraser Challenge
A middle school in North Carolina reported seeing several cuts and burns on students due to the new eraser challenge. They warned parents that children are rubbing erasers up and down their skin roughly, while they recite the alphabet.
East Iredell Middle School shared their concerns in a Facebook post. They also provided a link to an article detailing a similar incident that occurred in 2005. A teenager was taken to the hospital due to Strep A toxic shock, which likely occurred from the bacteria on the eraser that he had rubbed on his arm.
The eraser challenge gained its popularity online. Kids and teens have posted pictures and videos of themselves performing the eraser challenge, along with the cuts and abrasions the eraser leaves behind.
While some parents are appalled at the challenge, others aren’t shocked that the eraser challenge is the latest trend. Pediatrician Wendy Sue Swanson says the challenge doesn’t surprise her, but the way kids are bragging about their injuries does. “It seems like there’s this bravado in it,” she said. “There’s this easy accessibility… when you’re thinking about the social dynamics of children trying to belong, trying to get attention and show strength, it isn’t that surprising.”
Swanson advised parents and teachers to explain the dangers of the eraser challenge to their children. Eraser burns can become infected by staph or strep skin infections, which can lead to serious health issues.
“Kids don’t know this, but your skin isn’t sterile, it’s crawling with bacteria and when you open up your skin, that bacteria can crawl in and cause an infection,” Swanson explained. “Most kids are going to play this stupid game and have redness in their skin, create a scab and they might be left with a scar,” she added.