Sheriff’s officials in Lancaster on Tuesday issued a warning over a “dangerous” viral challenge that is spreading on the social media app TikTok and has left teens and children injured.
The “Skullbreaker” challenge involves three people, two of whom are in on the prank and a third unsuspecting participant, according to a news release from the Lancaster sheriff’s station.
All three stand in a straight line, with the person in the middle unaware of what is about to happen. Then, they are prompted by another individual — like someone filming it, for instance — to jump in the air.
The person in the middle is the only person who jumps, however, while the other two kick inward to knock him or her “off their feet – and, most likely, onto their head,” the release stated.
Parents outside of California have reported their children were injured from the prank.
Kimberly Hearn told KTLA sister station KARK in Little Rock, Arkansas, that’s what happened to her son Ke’Avion.
“He doesn’t deserve that, no child deserves that,” Hearn said. “You made him fall on his head. That’s got to be so cruel, and you found it to be so funny.”
Ke’Avion told the station he was at his high school’s gym when a couple of his classmates approached him.
“They said, ‘All you got to do is jump,’” Ke’Avion recalled.
He said he didn’t know what those classmates were about to do to him.
“I jumped, they kind of kicked me out under my legs so I can’t land,” he said. “All I remember is being on the floor.”
Ke’Avion was treated at the hospital for a concussion.
Another mother said her son lost consciousness, landed on his face and received a serious head injury, according to the sheriff’s station. He ended up getting stitches.
Another boy broke two wrist bones and had to undergo surgery, officials reported. His mother was among those who took to social media to sound a warning about the challenge.
Authorities are urging parents to talk with their children about the “dangerous prank” and the risks associated with it as soon as possible.
“Not only do we want kids to be aware that they may be pranked, we want to make sure our kids don’t prank any one themselves,” the sheriff’s release read. “We would hate to see any of our local kids hurt in any way!”
TikTok, ,meanwhile, said it planned to remove the videos from its site, saying in a statement to KARK:
“The safety of our users is our top priority at TikTok, and we do not allow content that encourages or replicates dangerous challenges that might lead to injury. The behavior in question is a violation of our Community Guidelines and we will continue to remove this content from our platform. We encourage everyone to exercise caution in their behavior whether online or off. For teens and their families on TikTok, we provide a number of safety controls in the app and educational resources on our Safety Center.
We also recommend that everyone review our Community Guidelines to learn about our code of conduct.”