TikTok's viral milk crate challenge can lead to 'potentially life-threatening injuries,' says doctor
- The "milk crate challenge" has swept social media after going viral on Facebook earlier this month.
- Hashtags related to the challenge on TikTok have amassed over 71 million views.
- Medical experts have said the "dangerous" challenge could lead to "life-threatening" injuries.
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A social media trend can lead to broken bones, spinal cord injuries, and bleeding inside the skull, according to a medical expert and TikToker.
The trend involves stacking a number of milk crates in a pyramid in order to give it a stair-like shape. The "challenge" for the social media user is to walk across all the milk crates without them collapsing under the weight of the person and causing them to fall. Users' attempts are often live-streamed or filmed for social media platforms.
Dr Karan Rangarajan, a general surgeon based in the UK, also posts informational myth-busting videos to 4 million followers on TikTok. He said the challenge is "incredibly dangerous."
"The milk crate challenge [...] poses a high risk of exposing yourself to orthopaedic injuries as well as injuries to the head and neck as a result of falling from heights onto the ground or the crates themselves which can puncture the skin," he said.
"Injuries can range from broken bones, ligament injuries and dislocations to potentially life-threatening ones such as spinal cord injuries or intracranial bleeds [which is] a bleed inside the skull."
Orthopaedic surgeon Dr Shawn Anthony also told Today that he is "seeing many orthopaedic injuries as a result of the falls [from these challenges]."
"Injuries can include broken wrists, shoulder dislocations, ACL and meniscus tears, as well as life-threatening conditions like spinal cord injuries," he said.
The trend began on Facebook, and quickly spread to TikTok
The challenge appears to have originally risen in popularity on Facebook earlier this month before spreading to other platforms.
On August 1, Facebook user Billy Joe posted two videos that appear to show him attempting to walk across the crates. Both times, the crates collapsed, with him falling and landing on his back. Combined, the two videos have over 750,000 views.
On August 13, Facebook user Kenneth Waddell shared the videos and tagged a user called Jordan Browne, suggesting that they imitate the actions in the video. On August 14, Waddell livestreamed his and Browne's attempt at "the crate challenge" on Facebook, while Browne also posted a clip from the same livestream later that day. The videos showed the pair climbing on the crates before falling, with Browne's video amassing over 800,000 views and over 9,000 reactions on Facebook.
The challenge has since gained popularity on TikTok, with the hashtags #cratechallenge and #milkcratechallenge cumulatively reaching over 71 million views.
One viral TikTok of the challenge posted on August 23 shows a woman appearing to "complete" the challenge while wearing heels. It has since amassed over 3 million views.
On Twitter, a video of a man dubbed "White Mike" appearing to complete the challenge while purportedly rolling a joint has been viewed over 9 million times since it was posted on August 21.
A number of videos also depict people falling from a height as the crates collapse beneath them.
-Official Milk Crate Challenge News Source?? (@SirVstudios) August 21, 2021
Yesterday, Twitter user @SmittySpreadLuv tweeted what appeared to be images of him applying an ice pack to extensive bruising across his back, along with the caption, "Man, f--- the crate challenge."
-Renard Smith Sr. (@SmittySpreadLuv) August 23, 2021
The user, who goes by the name Renard Smith Sr. on Twitter, did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.
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