Although I recently celebrated my 40th birthday, I remember all too well just how difficult it was to fit in when I was younger. Peer pressure and the need to be a kid involved with the “in” crowd is very strong, folks, and it unfortunately causes many of our children to do a lot of ridiculously harmful things that they wouldn’t normally do.
Indeed, if your child comes home and has some telltale marks on their back, then you need to have some serious conversations with him or her. Last January, a school district in North Carolina noticed these marks on some of their students, and when they discovered how the students were getting these marks, they were justifiably shocked.
You see, there is a new peer pressure challenge among youth, and it is spreading like wildfire across the country: It’s called the eraser challenge, and it consists of someone vigorous rubbing erasers on another youngster’s back while they recite the alphabet.
Needless to say, this is a good way for the participant to get hurt. There have been students who were admitted to the emergency room because they got Strep A Toxic shock from the burns they received while doing this ridiculous challenge.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the worst of it. Apparently, this challenge has gained in popularity online, with some kids even posting pictures and videos of them doing the challenge. For whatever reason, they seem to want to brag and show off the cuts and abrasions they get from this challenge.
“I think children kind of get lonely,” another parent said. “They sit in front of the internet all day and they don’t have anyone to answer to, so that’s when they come up with these crazy challenges.”
Still other parents were upset, but seemed unfazed simply because they claim that kids have been doing variations of this for several years now.
“Well, this isn’t anything new,” one commenter posted on the East Iredell Middle School Facebook page. “When I went to school 30 years ago, there were a lot of people doing this.”
Although pediatrician Wendy Sue Swanson was surprised by the trend, there were certain aspects of it that didn’t faze her either.
“These kids are just acting the way all of us used to act,” she said. “It wouild appear that there’s this bravado in this action, these kids are trying to show strength and try to belong. In that vein, it isn’t surprising.”
Swanson said that teachers and parents should tell their kids to avoid doing this challenge because it could harm them. She also said that this challenge would leave them prone to staph or strep skin infections, which definitely have the potential of being very harmful.
“A lot of kids don’t realize that their skin isn’t sterile,” Dr. Swanson said. “Your skin is crawling with bacteria and when skin is opened up the bacteria could go inside and cause infections.”
“Kids might play this stupid game and have some redness in their skin for a whille,” she said. “It might create a scab that will give the kid a scar. However, most kids will do fine because our immune system is a wonderful thing. However, do tell your kid not to do this.”
What do YOU think about this new silly game? Give us your thoughts…