Experts talk dangers of Condom Challenge

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — It’s a challenge that makes most people ask, “Why would anyone ever do that?”

And like so many Internet viral challenge videos, the Condom Challenge comes with serious health risks.

Just ask Christina VanCleave with the Wyandotte County Health Department.

“Condoms are meant to be used appropriately not to be snorted,” explained VanCleave.

The videos show people putting a condom in one nostril, inhaling, taking it through their throat and out their mouth.

“I mean it could get stuck, infection. Weird things like that,” said Joe Stanton, as he thought through possible risks.

Others, of course, include choking or even obstructing a bowel if it were swallowed. Officials also tell us a teenager may not know if they have a latex allergy.

“The only thing you should snort is air. The exception of nasal spray or something the doctor has prescribed,” said VanCleave, who was quoting a John Hopkins research article.

KC resident Bryan Kempf was shocked by the videos and couldn’t understand why anyone would want to put a condom in their nose.

“I have no idea. I don’t understand kids today at all,” said Kempf, who said his teenage niece and nephew would never do something like that.

VanCleave has a theory it has to do with the traction challenge videos get online.

“Kids like the likes. They're on social media. Maybe they'll get noticed. That can be for a variety of reasons,” said VanCleave.

Of course, this is far from the first of its kind.

“The tide pod thing is something that was particularly dangerous,” said Stanton, reminiscing on the trend that surfaced months ago.

Those showed people biting, smoking or cooking up Tide laundry pods, then putting the toxic detergent in their mouths.

“Common sense in general. It doesn't make a lot of sense,” said Stanton.

Years ago, swallowing a spoonful of cinnamon without water made the Internet rounds. That can cause gagging or vomiting.

VanCleave said this is the perfect opportunity for parents to talk to their kids.

“Have an open conversation of anything that is risky. We want them to be safe. And ask, why would they want to do anything like this?,” said VanCleave.

She said locally she did not think anyone had been hurt by this challenge.

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