Kids seriously injured in dangerous TikTok prank gone viral

A dangerous prank going viral on social media is causing serious injuries for kids.

In the so-called “Skull-Breaker Challenge,” three kids line up side-by-side. The two on the outside encourage the unsuspecting kid in the middle to jump before they kick their feet out from under them, causing the victim to smash their head on the ground.

The viral game has caused broken bones and concussions for kids across the country and the world.

Chris Nowinski, a behavioral neuroscientist and CEO of the Concussion Legacy Foundation, spoke out about the prank Wednesday, urging parents to talk to their kids about the life-long injuries it can cause.

“The reality is, this is going to kill somebody or cause permanent brain injury, or, at a minimum, a concussion for people,” Nowinski said. “I was horrified when I saw this video. You understand how kids can think this might be funny, but kids can’t anticipate what it means for somebody to fall five or six feet onto their head.”

Nowinski, who played football at Harvard University and was a professional WWE wrestler, knows just how devastating a concussion can be.

“Too many concussions and not taking them seriously gave me permanent post-concussion syndrome. It’s 17 years later. I still have headaches, and I still don’t sleep right. I’m not the same person,” Nowinski said. “It’s troubling to think that this game could cause the same sort of thing for somebody elsewhere for decades their head may never feel the same because of just some silly social media game.”

Twelve-year-old Parker Smith, of Ozark, Ala., needed surgery after breaking both bones in his wrist due to the prank played on him by kids at an after-school program.

“They were laughing and stuff and telling him, ‘Parker, jump as high as you can!’” Parker’s mother, Teri Smith, told Boston 25 News in a FaceTime interview Wednesday. “And so, him thinking they were just trying to be friends, he jumped. When he did, that’s when they kicked his legs out from underneath him.”

Parker was out of school recovering but has since returned. As he continues to recover and police investigate the incident, his mom is grateful he didn’t injure his head.

“I would not wish this on anybody,” Smith said. “This has just been heartbreaking because I think of what could’ve happened.”

She too is telling parents to talk to their kids and monitor what they do.

“Those phones that our kids carry around, those belong to us as parents,” Smith said. “We need to be involved in what they’re watching.”

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