A viral TikTok challenge that entailed consuming a lot of the over-the-counter allergy medicine Benadryl resulted in the de@th of a 13-year-old child.
In 2020, the “Benadryl challenge” started making its way across social media. At that time, the Food and Dr*g Administration (FDA) published a warning regarding the risks of taking more Benadryl than is advised.
At the time, the organization highlighted reports of kids visiting hospitals as a result of taking the challenge. Participating in the risky trend, according to the FDA, might result in “serious heart problems, seizures, coma, or even de@th”.
Jacob Stevens, a 13-year-old from Ohio, di*d six days after completing the challenge, which entails ingesting enough of the dr*g to cause hallucinations, according to Justin Stevens, Jacob’s father, in an interview with ABC6.
The 13-year-old, according to Stevens, was put on a ventilator when he was taken to the hospital, but he pass*d away six days later on what he called “the worst day of his life.”
“When he did it all came at once and it was too much for his body,” said Stevens.
Jacob’s father claimed that his son made the risky social media challenge decision while hanging out with pals at home. The 13-year-old’s body began to seize while his buddies recorded the incident. Stevens claims that he was informed by hospital staff that his son would never wake up.
“No brain scan, there was nothing there. They said we could keep him on the vent that he could lay there but he will never open his eyes, he’ll never breathe, smile, walk or talk,” he recalled.
Jacob’s aunt started a GoFundMe, and as of April 19, it had raised more than $8,000, above its $4,000 target.
Don’t forget to check out the latest updates on TikTok that we covered recently:
- Lawmakers Vote to Ban TikTok in Montana: What Does It Mean for Social Media?
- Is Tiktok Getting Banned in the U.S. 2023? What’s the Real Reason?
Jacob’s aunt stated in the description:
“No mother should have to say goodbye to their baby,” and added that she is sure her nephew “didn’t think this was going to be the outcome.”
The 13-year-old is described as a “well-mannered, funny, loving kid” who liked “listening to music, playing football, and hanging out with his friends” in an obituary prepared by Jacob’s family.
Prior to now, the FDA had disclosed that it had contacted TikTok regarding the hazardous films and asked them to “be vigilant to remove additional videos that may be posted.”
The government added that medical practitioners should “be aware” of the issue and “alert caregivers” about the pattern at the time. The need to store prescription, over-the-counter, and allergy medications “up and away” was also mentioned.
After Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth, Texas, reported treating three teenagers hospitalized after ingesting “excessive amounts” of the medication, the de@th from the TikTok challenge followed.
Since then, the TikTok app has prohibited “Benadryl” searches. The “bena challenge” or the “benary changle,” which comprise films about risky behavior, are instead suggested when looking up the name of the allergy dr*g.
A spokeswoman for TikTok stated to The Independent in 2020:
“The safety and well-being of our users is TikTok’s primary priority. We do not permit content that encourages, promotes, or glorifies hazardous challenges that could result in harm, as stated in our Community Guidelines.”
“Though we have not seen this content trend on our platform, we actively remove content that violates our guidelines and block related hashtags to further discourage participation. We encourage everyone to exercise caution in their behavior whether online or off.”
Following the boy’s passing, a spokeswoman sent the following statement to The Independent: “Our sincere sympathies go out to the family. At TikTok, we strictly forbid and remove content that encourages risky behavior because we place a high focus on keeping our community safe.
We have never noticed a trend in this kind of content on our platform, and we’ve been blocking searches for years to help prevent imitation. We actively endeavor to delete any content or accounts that violate our Community Guidelines with the help of our team of 40,000 safety experts, and we invite our community to do the same.