CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A bizarre new internet trend has teens recording themselves eating Tide laundry detergent pods.
It’s called the “Tide Pod Challenge.” Videos of it started emerging this week.
The videos are supposedly made to be funny; a satirical response to national, commercialized warnings against ingesting Tide pods, which are jokingly referred to as the “forbidden fruit.”
“They don’t always have the comprehension at 13, 14, or 15 years old of lifelong consequences,” said Dr. Karen Jenkins, medical director of the Piedmont Medical Center emergency department.
“It’s toxic soap chemicals that these teenage children are putting into their mouths. These are people who are going out and actively going to look for them to ingest them. I cannot believe that people are doing this.”
Dr. Jenkins said even if the teens don’t swallow the pods, the concentrated chemicals can cause serious, and in some cases permanent damage.
“They can cause chemical burns around the mouth and can cause burns inside the mouth, nausea and vomiting, you can get aspiration, pneumonia, and have breathing problems,” she explained. “It’s not a risk worth taking.”