After mom Valerie Hudson’s young son fell victim to “a malicious, cruel viral prank” at school that left him unconscious in the hospital, she decided to take to Facebook to warn other parents. Two of her son’s friends used him as part of the so-called “skull breaker” challenge sweeping the video-sharing platform Tik Tok.
“My son was asked to do a jumping contest with his 2 ‘friends’, when he jumped up, the 2 boys kicked him, as hard as they could, so his legs flew out in front of him,” Hudson explained. “He landed hard flat on his back and head, as he struggled to get up he lost consciousness, he fell forward landing on his face.”
I really contemplated posting this, but I feel there needs to be awareness of this malicious cruel viral prank. On…
By the time the school monitor made it over, he needed to be taken to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with a head injury, severe cuts inside his mouth, damage to his front teeth, and required stitches in his face, according to the concerned mom. Now she’s warning other parents about the dangers to their unsuspecting children.
The viral prank that sent her son to the hospital, as Hudson learned, is currently spreading on Tik Tok and is attracting likes on social media. The challenge surfaced in early 2020 with the hashtag skullbreakerchallenge, getting videos from around the world. Hudson explains, “The premise of the prank is to get an unsuspecting individual to jump, so the pranksters can kick/trip the person to see how hard they fall.”
Most of the videos took the form of two people duping a third, who didn’t know what was going to happen. The two pranksters would stand on the outside, with the victim in the middle. First the two would jump up simultaneously. Then they would tell the person in the middle to do so. That’s when the “friends” would kick out their feet from beneath them.
According to Hudson, her son “did not know this was going to happen.” “The boys in question he has known for quite some time, so his trust of them was warranted,” she added. “The school monitor ran to his side, all the while the 2 boys were snickering and laughing as his stiff unconscious body lay on the asphalt.”
Concerning the medical dangers of the challenge, many children and teens who were victims needed to be hospitalized for head trauma. Dr. Grier Arthur, a trauma surgeon at Drexel University College of Medicine, explained to ABC, “If you hit [the ground] head first, you can have a skull fracture, a hematoma on the outside of the skull, or even bleeding in the brain.”
After one particularly violent fall by a 13-year-old in New Jersey, Camden County prosecutors charged two minors “with third-degree Aggravated Assault and third-degree Endangering an Injured Victim for their participation in the Tik Tok ‘Skull Breaker Challenge’ that injured another minor resulting in a seizure, closed head injury and concussion,” per a press release.
Tik Tok finally took action by removing the videos from the site and replacing the content at #skullbreakerchallenge with warning videos in English, Spanish, German, and other languages. A video by South African lip-sync content creator and social media star Chané Grobler warning about the challenge also received over 368,000 views.
Tik Tok shared in a statement, “Nobody wants their friends or family to get hurt filming a video or trying a stunt. It’s not funny—and since we remove that sort of content, it certainly won’t make you TikTok famous.”
Thankfully, Hudson’s warning about the skull breaker challenge is getting through, garnering 54,000 shares thus far. With parents aware and the news out, the dangerous trend will hopefully come to an end.