Social media users have seen a variety of different challenges over the past several years. While many of them are for charitable causes, like the ice bucket challenge that raised money and awareness for the ALS Association, there have been just as many – if not more – challenges that prove to be downright dangerous. That’s the case with the newest challenge sweeping social media site TikTok. The stunt is called the “skull breaker.”
TikTok is a social media site where users can create short dance, lip-sync, comedy, and talent videos. The site originated in China in 2016 and launched in the United States in 2018. In the skull-breaker challenge, which has gone viral over the past few months, three teens stand together, ready to jump up in the air at the same time. But as the middle person (who becomes the victim) jumps in the air, the two other teens either kick or pull the legs out from out of the unsuspecting victim. The fall the victim suffers can cause serious to severe brain or spine injuries.
It was given the moniker of the skull-breaker challenge because of the way the victims’ heads hit the ground as they fall backward. That fall is often so hard that the victim suffers some type of head injury. Other victims have suffered spinal injuries when their back slams into the floor when they fall. The incidents have become more and more common as kids are home and not going to school across the country because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
TikTok is asking viewers and users of the site to stop participating in these challenges because of how dangerous they are. Unfortunately, this has not deterred kids and teens from posting their videos of skull-breaker challenges. And victims continue to suffer serious injuries.
Social Media Stunts
The skull-breaker stunt is not the first dangerous challenge on social media, and sadly, it will likely not be the last. Last year, people were participating in the Bird Box challenge (named after the Netflix limited-run serious). In this challenge, participants had to perform activities outdoors, wearing a blindfold at all times, like the characters in the serious. Some of the stunts posted online included walking down stairs, stumbling around in the woods, riding escalators, and driving their cars. In some cases, teens are facing criminal charges for assault because of the injuries the victims have suffered.
In 2018, some social media users tried the Tide Pods challenge. This is where teens had to bite into and chew Tide laundry detergent pods and then spit them out. According to data from the American Association of Poison Control Centers, hundreds of teens were exposed to detergent pods and at least 25 percent of those victims admitted the exposure was intentional.
The list of past dangerous social media challenges goes on.
Skull-Breaker Challenge Injuries
Even a somewhat moderate impact to the head can result in serious consequences for the victim. There have been reports of victims having seizures and losing consciousness after they fall. Even if a victim doesn’t lose consciousness or suffer a seizure, that doesn’t mean they have not sustained serious brain trauma.
Any kind of slip and fall injury can cause long-term or permanent physical and emotional changes. Victims can suffer from concentration difficulties, memory loss, chronic fatigue, blurred vision, seizures, and tremors. Any time person has suffered any kind of fall or blow to the head, they should seek immediate medical attention.
Victims who suffer slip and fall injuries may be able to pursue damages against the party who was liable for the accident. Depending on the circumstances of the incident, a Virginia personal injury attorney can evaluate the case to determine if any party is liable for the losses that the victim’s injuries have caused them to suffer. For example, if a TikTok stunt occurs at a school, the school district may be held legally liable for the losses the victim suffers if the district failed to provide a safe environment for all students, thus providing an environment that allowed the students to participate in the dangerous challenge.
Contact a Va. Personal Injury Attorney Today
If you or a loved one has suffered a head injury due to the negligence of another person, you may be entitled to financial compensation for the pain and losses that were a result of that injury. Our Virginia brain injury attorneys have successfully represented many accident victims and their families and would be happy to meet and discuss how our firm may be able to help. Shapiro, Appleton & Washburn also provides a free traumatic brain injury guide that provides important information about Virginia’s brain injury law and other legal questions regarding pursuing an injury claim.
An experienced personal injury attorney with dual licensure in Virginia and North Carolina, Eric Washburn received a B.B.A. in Finance from James Madison University—initially worked in the information technology field before obtaining his law degree from Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing, Michigan. Once an Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney in Danville, Va., Eric has been recognized by Super Lawyers Magazine as a “Rising Star” Super Lawyer in Virginia since 2014.