By: Lucas Smith
Over the last few years, many challenges have emerged on social media. These “challenges” have allowed average people to gain followers and popularity. Watching people attempt and perform these dares can be entertaining, but the dangers of said challenges are not always acknowledged. Possible dangerous consequences include the danger of the Cinnamon Challenge, danger of the Kylie Jenner Lip Challenge, danger of the Salt and Ice Challenge, and now- the infamous Tide Pod Challenge.
The Tide Pod Challenge began near the end of 2017 and took off with start of the new year. It is unknown how the trend started, but it is likely that a series of memes sparked the trend to come about.
The purpose of the challenge is unknown. People are likely daring others to eat the pods or people could be consuming them for attention.
According to the AAPCC, “in 2016 and 2017, poison control center handled thirty-nine and fifty-three cases of intentional exposures, respectively, among thirteen to nineteen year olds.”
Now, we are almost two months into the new year, and there are already 175 intentional cases among the same age group. This is also according to the AAPCC.
A person might become “insta-famous” by attempting this challenge, but there are many dangers to consuming the laundry detergent. If you swallow the detergent, it can cause burns to the esophagus and stomach. Gastrointestinal stress and diarrhea is also a factor. If the detergent gets into the lungs, it can cause wheezing, coughing, and respiratory distress. Inevitably, misuse can be serious.
“Potential effects include: seizures, pulmonary edema, respiratory arrest, coma, and even death,” according to the AAPCC.
For as little as $5.00, people can purchase a small pouch of these pods. However, grocery stores have started locking up these cheap products and other dangerous laundry detergent in order to prevent teens from buying them with the intentions of attempting the challenge.
In comparison, candy brands have taken up the “pod” endorsement. Snickers and Twix have begun to be advertised in the form of “pods.” The company “Mars” owns Snickers and Twix. The company has advertised candy under its name in “pod” form in the past. However, it seems too coincidental that the company decided to now advertise Snickers and Twix in pod form with the start of this new challenge. On the contrary, these are the types of pods a person should be eating. Not only are candy brands taking advantage of the endorsement, bartenders have taken up the art of the “Tide Pod shot.” They are using different types of alcohol to make an orange, blue, and white layered drink, similar to the colors in the original product.
All these different challenges are dangerous. However, the Tide Pod Challenge is different from other challenges because it is poisonous. The company has released many statements regarding the dangers of eating Tide Pods.
“What should Tide Pod’s be used for? DOING LAUNDRY. Nothing else,” stated Tide.
Needless to stay, the company said, “Eating a Tide POD is a BAD IDEA.”