Please do NOT try this social media challenge that has gone viral — it’s dangerous

Kids get roped into doing the silliest things at school, but sometimes these acts cross from foolish to harmful. That’s precisely what has happened with something called the eraser challenge, which has been gaining popularity on social media. Kids are dared to rub an eraser furiously on their skin while they do something or recite the alphabet. This challenge can leave severe burns on their skin, though, as well as permanent scars.

Parents were recently warned about this challenge by East Iredell Middle School in Statesville, NC, since several students were harmed by the eraser challenge. School supervisors are trying to prevent any other kids from getting hurt by educating parents about the challenge.

“Kids are rubbing an eraser across their skin while having to do or say something,” the school warned. “It’s causing serious burns and we’ve seen several cases of this at EIMS.”

EIMS isn’t the only school that’s been having trouble with the eraser challenge. Many kids across the country are participating in the challenge and subsequently harming themselves. Even worse, they’re sharing pictures on social media that showcase the burns they give themselves from the eraser, as if they want to show them off.

These burns look incredibly painful, but kids keep sharing pictures and videos of the eraser challenge, encouraging their peers to get involved and try out the challenge for themselves. Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson, a pediatrician in Seattle, told TODAY that she’s not surprised this eraser challenge has picked up momentum.

"It seems like there's this bravado in it, there's this easy accessibility," Dr. Swanson told TODAY. "When you're thinking about the social dynamics of children trying to belong, trying to get attention and show strength, it isn't that surprising."

Schools are trying to educate their students’ parents about this phenomenon to prevent this kind of “bravado” behavior, because there’s a real risk to doing the eraser challenge. Whatever you do, don’t try it yourself!

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