Iowa mom warns against "skull breaker challenge"

Published: Feb. 27, 2020 at 10:51 PM CST
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A new dangerous trend is taking over the video app TikTok and it has many parents concerned. It's called the “skull breaker challenge” and like the name suggests it could cause severe harm. At first, the challenge is seemingly harmless, but it soon turns into a mean prank with dangerous consequences.

Jennifer Pottorff didn't even know what TikTok was, but she now has the app downloaded on her phone and is going to stay up with the latest social media trends. She's doing this after her 6th grade daughter was hurt doing the skull breaker challenge in PE class.

“Two girls grabbed her by each side of her hoodie and told her to jump,” said Pottorff.

The skull breaker challenge involves three people standing side by side with the person in the middle unaware of what the challenge entails. That person is told they are doing a jumping competition to see who can jump the highest. However, when they jump, their feet are kicked out from under them by the two other people. This causes the person to fall backwards often getting hurt.

"They kicked her feet out from under her and she landed on her arm. Everyone in the room was laughing, so my daughter kind of giggled and realized she couldn’t move her arm,” said Pottorff.

Pottorff's daughter ended up breaking her humerus and elbow.

“She may never fully have mobility in her hand or arm or anything,” said Pottorff.

She's now warning other parents about this challenge. She believes it's being used as a way for kids to bully others.

“This is dangerous. parents just need to know exactly what their kids are doing or exactly what they're watching and inform their kids that this challenge is dangerous. Someone can seriously get hurt,” said Pottorff.

Doctors are speaking out too, warning the skull breaker challenge could cause injuries to the head, neck, wrist or worse.

"Could be either irreversible damage or fatal if this happens, if someone falls down and happens to break their skull, get a concussion. Lots of bad things can happen if you fall down and hit your head really hard. If you fall down and hit a rock or something like that. You can really injure someone doing this challenge,” said Dr. Kara Bruning, an Avera Pediatrician.

Pottorff says her daughter does not have social media, so there was no way for her to know about the challenge. In the future, she is going to make sure her daughter knows about these trends, so something like this doesn't happen again.