Skullbreaker Challenge (aka Trip Jump): Dangerous New Social Media Prank

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February 19, 2020

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What is the Skullbreaker Challenge?

  • Three people stand side-by-side
  • The two people on either end will trick the middle person into jumping or dancing with them to make a social media video
  • Then, they kick the unsuspecting person’s feet out from under him/her forcing the victim to fall on the ground
  • Students post videos of the pranks to social media
  • Videos of the Skullbreaker or Trip Jump Challenge are all over TikTok and YouTube
  • There are reports of kids around the world getting concussions or ending up hospitalized with other injuries after attempting this

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Table of Contents

The Skullbreaker Challenge, also called the Trip Jump Challenge, is a dangerous social media prank that's landing some students around the world in the hospital. The videos, of teens tripping others, are made in an attempt to get more laughs and likes on TikTok, YouTube, and other social media platforms. But, the challenge can only happen at the expense of an unsuspecting person - some of whom are ending up with concussions, stitches, and broken bones.

Parent & educator training video

What is the Skullbreaker Challenge?

  • Three people stand side-by-side
  • The two people on either end will trick the middle person into jumping or dancing with them to make a social media video
  • Then, they kick the unsuspecting person’s feet out from under him/her forcing the victim to fall on the ground
  • Students post videos of the pranks to social media
  • Videos of the Skullbreaker or Trip Jump Challenge are all over TikTok and YouTube
  • There are reports of kids around the world getting concussions or ending up hospitalized with other injuries after attempting this

Skullbreaker Challenge in the news

The Skullbreaker Challenge is injuring students at schools across America

WPXI.com headline: Student 'went numb,' hospitalized after violent social media challenge at Pittsburgh school
During a moment in the dance [I] would have to jump. ‘They kicked my legs over, and (one girl) grabbed my legs and slammed them to the ground. I went numb and couldn’t do anything. I struggled getting up,’ the girl said… Doctors told her parents that her ponytail saved her from serious head injuries. WPXI.com

Parents are warning other families about the dangers

KOLD News 13 headline: Tucson woman sounds warning after son injured during social media challenge.
Two schoolmates told her son to join a jumping contest with them and while in the air the two boys kicked him, causing him to land on his back and head, according to the post... As he tried to stand up, he lost consciousness and fell forward, injuring his face... [The boy] is suffering from a head injury, facial stitches, severe mouth cuts and two loose front teeth. KOLD TV
Facebook post from Valerie Hodson: I really contemplated posting this, but I feel there needs to be awareness of this malicis creul viral prank. On Wednesday my son was asked to do a jumping contest with his 2 friends, when he jumped, the 2 boys kick him, as hard as they could, so his legs flew out in front of him. He landed hard flat on his back and head, as he struggled to get up he lost consciousness, he fell forward landing on his face. The school monitor ran to his side, all while the 2 boys were snickering and laughing at his stiff unconscious body lay on the asphalt. Fast forward at the hospital, he has a head injury, stitches in his face, severe cuts inside his mouth and 2 front teeth I have to keep an eye on. This apparently is a TikTok viral prank being filmed and gaining likes on social media.
A mother writes this Facebook warning about the Skullbreaker Challenge after her son was injured from it at school.

Doctors say this challenge could have fatal consequences

Yahoo! Lifestyle headline: The 'skull breaker challenge' is trending on TikTok. Why doctors say it could be fatal.
It can be associated with a variety of serious and even life-threatening injuries including, but not limited to, bruising, hematoma, skull fracture, neck strain, neck fracture, concussion and long term complications of concussion, bleeding in or around the brain, loss of consciousness, paralysis, and death,” [said Nathan Richards, MD, a physician who specializes in internal medicine and pediatrics at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center]. “Although it can seem like a harmless prank to children and adolescents, they should be educated on the potential serious consequences of doing the skull breaker challenge. Yahoo News

Students can face charges for their role in this dangerous prank

Good Morning America headline: Two minors charged after participating in viral 'Skullbreaker Challenge'
My son ended up having a seizure with a traumatic brain injury and a concussion with loss of consciousness, [explained the mom of a 13 year-old injured in the Skull Breaker Challenge in New Jersey.] Now the two who challenged the boy are facing assault charges. Good Morning America
News 13 headline: Parents pressing charges against high school studnets in TikTok video
A Daytona Beach mother is filing charges after she says two high school students tripped her daughter [at school] and then posted a video of it to social media.... [Police] said the teens are being charged with misdemeanor battery and cyberbullying. News 13 Orlando

TikTok will remove any Skullbreaker Challenge videos reported on the app, according to company statement

The safety and well-being of our users is a top priority at TikTok. As we make clear in our Community Guidelines, we do not allow content that encourages, promotes or glorifies dangerous challenges that might lead to injury. We will remove any such reported content. A TikTok representative told Gulf News

What can parents and educators do?

  • Understand that many of the popular apps can't remove or censor all  dangerous prank videos. They go against Terms of Service agreements, but so many new videos are uploaded each day
  • Talk to students about social media challenges before they hear about them from their friends
  • Tell them about the real injuries some teens are getting
  • Explain the consequences they could face if they injure someone while doing this
  • Help students understand that fads like these come and go, and why it isn’t worth it to participate

More dangerous challenges video for parents & educators

Conclusion

It’s important for parents to stay educated about viral social media challenges. Smart Social makes it easier for parents to stay informed about the latest social media crazes. Join our free newsletter for updates on dangerous new viral challenges and popular apps.


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