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What Is The ‘Shell On’ Challenge, And Why Does It Have Parents Worried?

shell-on challenge

One of the things we're most grateful for is that social media didn't exist when we were teenagers. Sure, it would have been nice to have that same connection with others that social media gives us now. It would have been cool to share videos and funny stories and DM someone from chem class when you forgot to take notes. We think back to some of our most memorable teen experiences and sometimes wish we could relive them again through what was shared online. But then, we we come to our senses and realize that NOT having access to social media probably saved us from potential injury and years of embarrassment.

Because here's the thing: teens are smart, but some of them are not so good with the common sense.

They don't consider the ramifications of their actions, or think critically or logically when it counts. It's all about what's fun and trendy and happening now! And social media feeds into that. We've heard about all the weird social media challenges teens and young people do (eating Tide Pods or spoonfuls of cinnamon, for example), and it's hard not to just shake your head and wonder why they are the way they're are.

The latest social media challenge is called the Shell On Challenge, and it's just as ridiculous and potentially dangerous as all the others.

The Shell On Challenge has teens daring each other to eat food items without removing them from their packaging. So instead of taking the banana out of the peel or removing the crackers from their plastic sleeve, they're just eating the entire thing. Cardboard, plastic, peels - down they go! The kids film themselves doing the challenge and then share it on Snapchat, where other teens presumably laugh and adults wonder where we went wrong.

Eating lemon or orange rinds is one thing - eating a plastic bag is quite another.

It's not as dangerous as the Tide Pod challenge, but it's still not advisable to eat inorganic materials like plastic. Some plastics can contain BPA, a chemical believed to influence hormones. There are also chemicals present in PVC that are known to cause cancer. Not to mention, eating plastic or hard shells can pose a choking hazard, and there's not telling the kind of damage they can do as they pass through your digestive system.

If you have a teen, now would be a good time to review the basic rules about eating stuff like plastic and eggshells.

We know you probably thought these days were behind you after your kids grew out of toddlerhood, but the teenage years are something special ... in a nutshell.

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