Teens are constantly finding new ways of putting rubber to use and one trending fad is also giving parents sleepless nights: condom snorting.
Parents in San Antonio, Texas, are learning through education classes that an increasing number of teens are looking up the “condom challenge.” Contrary to what the challenge may suggest, it is not about using the prophylactic for intended purposes. Instead, teens are challenged to snort an unused condom through a nostril only to pull it out from the mouth, while being filmed, a local Fox News affiliate reports.
In the San Antonio class, Stephen Enriquez, one of the educators, is telling parents of school-aged children that psychotropic substances are not the only thing they need to fear.
“These days our teens are doing everything for likes, views, and subscribers. As graphic as it is, we have to show parents because teens are going online looking for challenges and recreating them.”
The use of condoms in pranks and challenges is not new. After the Ice Bucket Challenge gained popularity, new ways to drop water on heads were tried and condom challenges became a craze. Amidst growing concerns of safety, health experts warned about risk of suffocation when a water-filled condom wraps around the head. Soon after, it appears, videos of attempts to snort and extract condoms from the throat started garnering attention.
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Besides the unpleasant feeling one is likely to experience when sensitive nasal passages are lined with chemicals a condom contains, including glycerin and spermicide, infections and allergic reactions are likely. More importantly, snorting a condom, which is designed not to break, becomes a choking hazard if it blocks the airway.
While choking or a fatality has not been caught on tape, a few patient case studies reported in medical literature indicate what a condom that enters the respiratory tract can do. Condoms entering the digestive tract, including appendix, cause sickness, and have been reported more often.
In 2004, researchers in India described the troubles of a 27-year-old who accidentally inhaled a condom while performing oral sex. The object was later located and removed with a bronchoscope.
“The lady presented with persistent cough, sputum and fever for the preceding six months. Trials with antibiotics and anti-tuberculosis treatment for the preceding four months did not improve symptoms. A subsequent chest radiograph showed non-homogeneous collapse-consolidation of right upper lobe.”
Forbes contributor Bruce Y. Lee mentions a YouTube video from 2007 that reportedly demonstrated the act. But it may not have been until 2013 when the condom snorting challenge began gaining traction. Clearly, the condom challenge is not new, and is likely to stay.