Middle school aged children have been involved in a potentially dangerous and life-threatening trend —"The Eraser Challenge."
Those who choose to participate in this so-called challenge rub an eraser as hard as they can on their skin while saying the alphabet or other phrases, according to a recent USA Today article. The harsh rubbing results in burns or skin abrasions, which take time (and sometimes medical intervention) to heal.
This challenge is happening in middle schools where kids are still pretty young and will often do things that are a bad idea due to peer pressure. Not only is this challenge painful, it can also lead to serious infections from bacteria that live on the skin, such as staph, MRSA and strep. Breaking the skin's protective barrier allows infectious organisms to gain access to the rest of the body. If infection occurs, not only could your child need medical attention, this abrasion could also become potentially life-threatening.
Talk to your kids about "The Eraser Challenge" and why it's dangerous. Explain the risks associated with this challenge — pain, infection, medical interventions and scarring. Open up a healthy dialogue as a family about peer pressure and how doing something on a dare or because everyone else is doing it is generally not a good idea.
If your child has already been participating in the challenge, check any wounds for signs of infection and get medical help if necessary. Reiterate the dangers and why they should never take part in something harmful like this in the future.