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Please Don't Eat Laundry Pods and Other Useful Information


Last Friday, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (USCPSC) tweeted a very simple statement: Please don’t eat laundry pods.

The country is in the midst of another viral challenge. This time, teens are challenging each other to eat Tide Laundry Pods. As a result of this challenge, in the first 16 days of the year, thirty-nine national reports of teenagers ending up in emergency rooms across the country have been recorded. 

So what are these viral challenges? Some, like the ASL Ice Bucket Challenge lead to a common good, raising awareness and money for much needed research. Other challenges are simple and not likely to cause harm. (For example, the cinnamon challenge has over 40,000 videos on youtube), but other challenges are much more dangerous. There are rumors of a blue whale challenge that leads children and young teens to self harm.  

How do you address these types of challenges in your classroom? For example, for the Laundry Pod Challenge, we could discuss media literacy, talk about dangers of ingesting poisons, perhaps first aid, or even how to contact poison control for information. 

What are your thoughts? Let's share any ideas you have about lessons or teaching strategies. 

Kathy Tracey




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We're at it again. There is a new viral challenge taking over social media. In case you haven't seen the madness, the Netflix move Bird Box has led to challenges where people video themselves or their friends while blindfolded and completing daily tasks.  Netflix has released a statement warning against this challenge. And do you remember the KiKi Challenge? Behavioral experts indicate our participation in these challenges is because we all want our 15 minutes of fame and sometimes posting videos on completing these challenges can lead to more likes, followers, and attention. Perhaps discussing these challenges and pointing out the potential hazards has a place in our teaching. If we are working with parents, alerting them to the potential dangers and outcomes from these challenges is also important. 

So what do we need to know about challenges like these in our classroom? How does addressing viral challenges tie into our overall teaching goals? 

Do you think discussions on social media and viral challenges has a place in your classroom? If so, how have you approached it? And I wonder what the 'next' challenge will look like. 

Kathy Tracey