By: Luna Rivas   

The internet loves challenges:” The Gallon Challenge”, “The Cinnamon Challenge”, and now “ The Tide Pod Challenge”. A harmless internet joke turned into a dangerous meme that went viral in late 2017.

This all started with teenagers putting tide pods in their mouth, without knowing the consequences. The Tide Pods contain chemicals that are very dangerous. Eating them can cause people to end up in the hospital and possibly die. One would hope that teenagers are old enough to understand the consequences of eating harmful chemicals, however, there were over 12,000 calls to Poison Control in 2017.

Alfred Aleguas of the Florida Poison Information Center told the Washington Post  earlier this month, “It’s pretty foolish behavior.” There are 39 reported cases of among 13 to 19 year old teenagers eating Tide Pods.

Because the contents of tide pods are more gelatinous than liquid, they might not wash down quite as quickly as water. Upon coming into contact with the substance, the back of your throat may begin to burn and swell for the reasons above, causing the circumference of your windpipe to shrink in size. Because this is the only path for oxygen to travel from the mouth to the lungs, and the only route for carbon dioxide to exit the body, the blockage can make you feel short of breath. In response, your impulse may be to inhale quickly or deeply. Paired with a lack of oxygen, this effort will tire you out. After several minutes or more, depending on your exposure and the severity of the blockage you might begin to feel groggy.

This “Tide Pod Challenge” can kill or seriously injure teens who participate without thinking. Please, do not try this, be smart!