In 2013, the internet was rife with videos of teenagers sniffing condoms, pulling them out of their mouths, almost choking as they did. Now it seems that this worrying 'challenge' – one that some news outlets are even calling "moronic" – is rearing its head once again.
As reported by the New York Post, the back-again viral video craze is showing scores of teens dangerously trying their hand at the risky social-media challenge – one that experts suggest is attractive for teens looking to up their popularity online.
"Because these days our teens are doing everything for likes, views and subscribers," Texas-based health educator Stephen Enriquez told US news station KABB-TV. "As graphic as it is, we have to show parents because teens are going online looking for challenges and recreating them."
Online attention aside, other medical practitioners warn that by snorting a condom up their noses, teenagers run the risk of lethally pushing the condom into their windpipe or even their lungs.
"The nose is connected to the back of the mouth — it's also connected to the [airways]," Dr. Carol Cooper explains in an interview DC Inno. "There's every possibility something you push up your nose will end up in your windpipe, or in your lungs. With potentially fatal results."
The condom-snorting challenge is yet another harrowing example of how these often trendy-among-teens challenges can have devastatingly life-altering consequences. In 2010, 19-year-old Sam Ballard was dared to swallow a garden slug by a group of friends. And what started out as an innocent prank amongst pals took a shocking turn. The slug spread a very rare infection to Sam called rat lungworm.
Sam later slipped into a coma that lasted 420 days. When he regained consciousness, Sam awoke a quadriplegic. He is now 28 and must be fed by a tube and cared for full-time by his mother.
The short of it? Talk to your teen about the dangers. Doing so could save a life.