Deodorant Challenge: What Parents Need to Know

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May 9, 2018

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What is the Deodorant Challenge?

  • The deodorant challenge is the latest popular teen social media trend
  • To participate, students spray their bare skin (or someone else’s) with aerosol deodorant for as long as they can stand it
  • The aerosol deodorant causes a reaction similar to frostbite or a burn
  • This trend has been around for about a decade and has been referred to in the past as “frosting”
  • Although the trend isn’t new, it is seeing an uptick in popularity. Especially in the UK
  • Social media fuels challenges like these because they can gain a lot of attention for the person partaking in the challenge and they aren’t tied to a specific school or region

Why should parents care?

  • This challenge can be very dangerous and result in hospitalization
  • Knowing about social media challenges and trends before your teen does can help you keep them safe before an incident occurs
  • The deodorant challenge is painful, can have a lasting impact, and causes scarring
  • Recently, a parent reported that their student (who participated in the challenge) had burns so severe they might have to get a skin graft
  • Dermatologists warn that the damage caused by the deodorant challenge could increase the risk of skin cancer down the road

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This is great info, thanks for giving me some ideas on how to start a dialogue with my teen!

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Sharon M.

Parent VIP Member

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Josh's presentation about social media was unbelievably fantastic. Our students learned so much about what kids should and shouldn't be doing. The fact that it is such a thoughtful process made it all worthwhile.

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Educator Webinar Attendee

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This webinar is a very helpful eye-opener on the apps that are popular with my students.

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This app is listed in the SmartSocial.com Green Zone.
This app is not safe for students to use unsupervised, but a Green Zone app can serve a positive purpose to help a student to navigate social media and someday build an online brand. Read more below to find out why this app is in the Green Zone.

This app is listed in the SmartSocial.com Gray Zone.
Gray Zone apps often contain lots of private & disappearing messages, and strangers can use this to chat with students. Parents should participate in these apps with students to keep them safe. This zone can be a great place for family time since many of these apps can be entertaining, and let your students express themselves. Read more below to find out why this app is in the Gray Zone.

This app is listed in the SmartSocial.com Red Zone.
Red Zone apps often have lots of anonymous features, adult content, and easy contact with strangers. Supervision is strongly suggested on each of these apps or move your kids to a safer zone. All apps require parental supervision, these apps more than others. Read more below to find out why this app is in the Red Zone or view our list of 100+ Apps to find a safer app with your student.
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This trend is categorized as a Dangerous Social Media Challenge.
Viral challenges encourage students to do dangerous things to garner likes, views, attention, and subscribers. These challenges can be found across several social networks and may encourage students to perform dangerous activities. SmartSocial.com keeps parents updated on these social media challenges before an incident may occur in your community.

Table of Contents

The deodorant challenge is the latest teen viral trend. To participate, students spray their bare skin (or someone else’s) with aerosol deodorant for as long as they can stand it.

Parent & educator training video

What is the Deodorant Challenge?

  • The deodorant challenge is the latest popular teen social media trend
  • To participate, students spray their bare skin (or someone else’s) with aerosol deodorant for as long as they can stand it
  • The aerosol deodorant causes a reaction similar to frostbite or a burn
  • This trend has been around for about a decade and has been referred to in the past as “frosting”
  • Although the trend isn’t new, it is seeing an uptick in popularity. Especially in the UK
  • Social media fuels challenges like these because they can gain a lot of attention for the person partaking in the challenge and they aren’t tied to a specific school or region

The Deodorant Challenge in the news:

[The Deodorant Challenge] is leaving kids with burns so severe some require hospitalization. –US News
A mom has issued a chilling warning over a new playground challenge after the game left her daughter with second-degree burns. –New York Post
One study found that spraying deodorant 5 cm from the skin for only 15 seconds can cause the skin’s temperature to drop by more than 60 degrees Celsius (140 degrees Fahrenheit). That drop in temperature can in turn cause frostbite. –Bustle

What parents say about the Deodorant Challenge:

[The Deodorant Challenge] really needs to be made as public as possible. It's just horrendous and needs stopping. For any parents who have children, please, please sit them down and show them these pictures.....These are the damaging results of something known as 'The Deodorant Challenge' which is currently doing the rounds
My nephew was doing this when he started secondary school. It’s it so ridiculous, why are the teachers not aware of this?
My son did this [and is] now suffering the consequences. Totally unaware of this at first, a very upsetting experience for all us.
I’m 25 and I did this years ago when I was at school. Thought it was all fun and games. But nope, now I’m left with a big scar.

Sources: US News, Yahoo News, Huffington Post

Why should parents care?

  • This challenge can be very dangerous and result in hospitalization
  • Knowing about social media challenges and trends before your teen does can help you keep them safe before an incident occurs
  • The deodorant challenge is painful, can have a lasting impact, and causes scarring
  • Recently, a parent reported that their student (who participated in the challenge) had burns so severe they might have to get a skin graft
  • Dermatologists warn that the damage caused by the deodorant challenge could increase the risk of skin cancer down the road

What can parents do?

  • Talk to your children about the deodorant challenge and explain the serious health repercussions associated with it
  • Monitor your student’s digital footprint to see if they are watching, liking, or creating posts about the challenge
  • Consider contacting your teen's school. If your child has engaged with anything like the deodorant challenge, other students might be engaging with it too
  • Urge your child to report any misbehavior they encounter online and on social media
  • Teach your teen that they don’t need to do what everyone else is doing and to use judgment when fads like this arise. Especially if the trend hurts themselves or others

What should parents do if their child has already participated in the Deodorant Challenge?

According to health experts:

  • Pay attention to see if your student has any burns
  • Consult a doctor immediately if your student participates in this challenge

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