Worried about what will be going in your child’s mouth this Halloween? Maybe you should be just as concerned with scary TikTok trends instead. Here’s why!
by Kim Payne
Feature Photo by Monstera Production on Pexels.com
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As parents, we come across many stories that could affect our children, some in an adverse manner. Whether we call these rumors, ideas, or facts, these words are being spoken via the news we watch, the doctor’s offices we visit, the parks, the playgrounds, and in the supermarket line. How much stock should we take in what we hear?
Kyra Colah reported in March 2023 that the social media app known as TikTok gained a massive momentum during the recent pandemic and that the challenges on the app are among the most popular ways to get noticed. It is no surprise that these challenges go viral, meaning it is viewed to infinity and beyond by various age groups among TikTok users, as they all try to outdo each other’s efforts in the challenges.
Some of these scary TikTok trends and challenges have had fatal results, causing parents of the newer generations to reflect upon the dangers that were bestowed upon them in their childhood, i.e. poison in candy, specifically, razor blades in apples.
Erin Blakemore reported in October 2017 that studies involving poisoned candy are greatly exaggerated. Blakemore reports that “rumors of randomly distributed poison candy or threats like apples that contain razor blades are nothing more than an urban legend.”
The website Groovy History reported in 2019 that razor blades in candy is a myth that never happened. However, the writer does point out that some children have suffered minor injuries from pranks or parents seeking lawsuits and those instances have added to the hysteria of the poisoned candy. The website also reports that there were less than 100 cases of legitimate candy tampering throughout the 20th century.
Snopes Staff and Barbara Mikkelson reported in 2000 that by 1982, it was concluded that virtually all the reports of razor blades in apples were hoaxes concocted by the children or parents.
Mommas, you may recall that in our childhood, we had to dump our trick-or-treat bags in the middle of the living room floor and not sneak any sweet tastes until our parents checked the contents. Fresh fruit and homemade cookies, rice krispie treats, and cupcakes were most likely thrown directly in the trash bin. But our experience of sitting in our costumes after hours of saying “smell my feet, give me something good to eat,” and feeling like it would be hours before we could eat that chocolate, is nothing compared to the dangers our own children are facing online.
Camden News reported in September 2023 that a fatal accident occurred when a minor ate an excessive amount of a spicy tortilla chip as part of a scary TikTok trend and challenge. But there have also been other scary TikTok trends that have had tragic results as young children were trying to get noticed on the platform by participating in extreme trends.
With the rise of screen time and the age of children watching online getting younger, it is important for us, as parents, to have open communication with our children. There certainly may be topics that we don’t want to think about or talk about; or we are worried of instilling a constant fear in our children. However, with the reports of tragedies and the connection to the need to be seen online and be the most “extreme,” it is an excellent practice that we become and stay aware of our children’s habits.
Many of us, regardless of age, have social media apps or online games, shows, etc. that make us lose track of time and as we stream more than we care to admit. Healthy conversations about moderation both for ourselves and our children can create a line of trust and ignite questions from your child.
The funny scene from the sitcoms and movies where a child is constantly asking, “but, why?” multiple times always gets a knowing laugh and shake of the head from parents. However, in all reality, we should embrace those multiple “why’s” and take heart that if your children are curious and trust you to provide them with the answers, it is one more way that we can help guide our children on the safe path. So the next time you see your child on TikTok, remember to communicate with them and hopefully, you’ll be able to effectively help them stay away from scary TikTok trends as best as possible. As always, happy parenting and of course, Happy Halloween!