Tide Pod Challenge Is Dangerous Fad

The Tide Pod challenge: harmless teenage pastime, or teenage health crisis?

The Tide pod challenge is one of many of the latest viral trends to sweep the nation’s youth.

Many teenagers undertake the challenge of eating the brightly colored and easily dissolved Tide pod detergent, an activity that usually occurs amongst young children or toddlers who believe the detergent to be candy.

Unsurprisingly, it seems many people who eat the tide pods are becoming ill, and many children and young teens( who seem to be the demographic so far of those who consume tide pods) are becoming violently ill and requires hospitalization according to the Washington Post.

The incidents are seemingly growing. According to the Snopes fact checking website, there were 40 cases of exposure to Tide Pods within the first 11 days of 2018 by 13 through 19-year-old adolescents.

Why do people do this?

Christian Caldarera, Dimond high school Freshman House principal said,“The majority of the time it’s because they want to look cool, they want to do something, you know, to feel accepted. To be wanted by a group.”

What drives the sort of behavior that would make someone swallow a cleaning supply? Caldarera said “Peer pressure. It’s been around, it’s one of the oldest pressures since time, next to geothermic pressure. It’s been around.”

There are definitely ways to earn a punishment by doing these activities, even though they differ in varying degrees. “It depends”, said Caldarera. “Yeah, it depends. If a kid gave it to another kid and something happened, that compromised the safety and security of this school and our students, you bet.”.

Now, Tide Pods being a detergent can definitely give you some medical complications, according to a  Dimond chemistry teacher Jeff Keller. Keller said “Surfactine is going all through you’re system, so it’s able to dissolve fat. All through your intestine your dissolving fats, and they’re dissolving in the water, but then you’re creating this big chemical reaction, and you’re just dissolving all this stuff that it isn’t a good idea to do.”

It doesn’t seem like many, if any Dimond Students partake in the tide pod challenge, although it seems they have tried other viral trends according Dimond School Nurse Julie Cheverton, who says, “ I’ve had kids come in here after doing the scorpion pepper challenge, I’ve had two students come down here, one touched it and rubbed his eye, so he’d had it in his eye… and that over something that’s deemed edible.

Cheverton said,”Tide Pod isn’t deemed an edible thing, so anybody who would consume that … none of that’s edible.

There also seems to be a rumor circulating around the internet about Tide Pod removal from stores that includes pictures of a Tide Twitter post that states, “ We regret to inform you, we will be removing Tide Pods from shelves starting February First. It’s been a good run, but we can’t risk lives over having clean clothes.” However, the fact-checking website Snopes has discredited the tweet stating that, “ The tweet bears no time stamp at its bottom” meaning that it could well be a fake. Both the illicit picture and Snopes statements may be found on the website Snopes.com.

What started this viral challenge? As with many of these viral challenges, no one seems to know or want to come forward, and a Seattle times newspaper article stated, “ It’s not certain how the fad got started.”

There have also been many online trends that have come before, and the Tide Pod challenge seems to just be the latest in a long line of social movements driven by platforms such as Youtube and Twitter, even as these social media giants try to remove as many videos of the Tide Pod challenge as they can.

If you can, remember the ALS ice bucket challenge a few years back, the cinnamon challenge before that and even the choking game.

What good are more positively focused trends such as the ALS ice bucket challenge? Caldarera said“ Well, you have to keep in mind that when we do these type of activities there’s always someone who is going to get a benefit from it, if its a non-profit organization or a good cause. And so when we try to do these types of things my feeling is the more the merrier. And if we can get unity by our students coming together for a good cause, and showing the results of it, I’m all for it.”

What positively based trends have Dimond students and staff been able to carry out over the years? Caldarera said“  And you know, we do this on an adult scale too. Ms [Lea] Bouton, she was wonderful and the teacher that she worked with we were able to donate over twenty-some odd turkeys at a faculty meeting to Bean’s Cafe.”

What do some of Dimond’s students think about this latest in a long line of viral trends?

Dimond freshman Noah Kim said “ The Tide Pod challenge is stupid, and if you do it you’re stupid too.”

All in all it seems there is one good piece of advice to take from all of these sources: Don’t eat the Tide Pods.