When teenagers started eating Tide Pods as part of a viral internet challenge, parents and medical professionals across the country reeled in shock and concern. The trend eventually faded and it seemed the Tide Pod challenge would go away.
However, just as the viral fad died down, a brand new one emerged. It’s called the “condom snorting challenge.”
In viral videos posted on social media, teenagers can be seen sucking unwrapped condoms through their nose until it comes out of their mouth.
Texas education specialist Stephen Enriquez told KABB-TV that teens today are doing risky things for “likes” and “views” on social media, which is what allows viral trends to really take off.
“As graphic as it is, we have to show parents because teens are going online looking for challenges and recreating them,” Enriquez added.
Bruce Y. Lee, an associate professor of International Health at the Johns Hopkins University, laid out some of the dangers of snorting condoms in a recent Forbes column:
Otherwise, anything else that goes up your nose can damage the sensitive inner lining of your nose, cause an allergic reaction, or result in an infection. I’ve already written for Forbes about the dangers of snorting chocolate and similar concerns apply to most other substances.
Now, imagine stuffing up your nose something that is larger than your nostril opening and designed not to break. That would be as foolish as, well, trying to inhale a condom. The condom could easily get stuck in your nose or your throat, blocking your breathing or causing you to choke.
But that’s not all. Take a look at a case report published in 2004 in the Indian Journal of Chest Diseases and Allied Sciences entitled “Accidental condom inhalation,” which distinguishes it from deliberate condom inhalation, which is basically the “Condom Snorting Challenge.” The case report detailed the tribulations of a 27-year-old woman who performed oral sex on a man wearing a condom. The condom went down her trachea and into her lungs, blocked one of her airways, and resulted in pneumonia and a collapse of the right upper lobe of her lung. That would qualify as a bad oral sex experience.
You can watch one of the viral “condom snorting challenge” videos for context below (WARNING: Graphic content):
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