The teenage years are the time for experimentation, but with the onset of sharing antics on social media—especially taking videos of the pranks and uploading them to YouTube—some dangerous behaviors are trending in teenagers. Here are five of the most common.

1. Salt and Ice Challenge

A teen pours salt on an area his arm or hand and then places ice on top, which creates a burning sensation. The challenge is to see who can tolerate the pain the longest or can wait until the ice melts. This act creates a white scar on the skin that eventually turns red and will be extremely painful.

2. Drinking Hand Sanitizer

Teens drink the over-the-counter cleanser for a cheap way to catch a buzz, as most hand sanitizers contain 62 percent ethyl alcohol. Since hand sanitizer is so easily available, teenagers only need a small amount to get drunk. Some take this prank a step further and use salt to separate the alcohol from the other parts of the sanitizer, which then gives them a shot of pure alcohol.

3. Cinnamon Challenge

The idea of this fad is for a teenager to swallow a spoonful of cinnamon within 60 seconds. The spice usually dries out the teenager's mouth, making it almost impossible for her to swallow. Sometimes, teens accidentally inhale the cinnamon, which can cause severe chest pain or even aspiration.

4. Chubby Bunny Marshmallow

The idea of this "game" is to see how many marshmallows the teen can fit inside his mouth and say "Chubby Bunny". Here's how it works: Two or more teens play at one time. During each round, each player takes a turn putting a marshmallow in his mouth and saying "Chubby Bunny". During subsequent rounds, players keep adding marshmallows until they cannot fit anymore in their mouth or can't say "Chubby Bunny." The game can turn dangerous as someone could choke on a marshmallow.

5. Car Surfing

Chinese fire drills, where all the kids in a car would change seats during a red light, were one thing, but this latest fad takes a car prank to the extreme—and it is illegal. This trend has teens climbing out of a car through the window while the car is speeding down a highway. Then the teen attempts to stand on the roof while the car continues to speed down the road. The idea of the prank is to make it appear like the person is surfing on top of the car. Not only can this antic cause an accident, but the person performing it can fall off, which could have fatal results.

Marnie Dardanello, MD, reviewed this article.




Amelia Grant-Alfieri, Judy Schaechter and Steven E. Lipshultz. "Ingesting and Aspirating Dry Cinnamon by Children and Adolescents: The 'Cinnamon Challenge, '" Pediatrics Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics (2013). DOI: 10.1542/peds.2012-3418.

"'Cinnamon Challenge': Doctors Warn Teenage Fad May Pose Long-Term Health Risks," Medical Daily.