A fad called ‘the pass out challenge’ is spreading through Denmark. The dubious activity involves the filming of a participant hyperventilating and then holding their breath until they pass out.
Thousand of young Danes have recently joined ‘pass out challenge’ social media groups.
Doctors worry that what is meant to be a fun – if obviously foolish – activity could be dangerous.
“There are both psychological and physiological aspects of this that cause me serious concern,” Jens Rasmussen, the head doctor at A&E at Amager Hospital, told Metroxpress.
Rasmussen warns that taking part in the challenge upsets the body’s ‘delicate balances’.
“It is very unhealthy for the body to shut down briefly – to restrict the blood flow to the heart and oxygen to the brain,” said Rasmussen. “This challenge is especially dangerous to anyone with undiagnosed epilepsy or a weak heart.”
And, of course, injuries could result from the person simply falling down.
“When you faint, your collapsing body is completely defenceless and runs the risk of sustaining a blow, to somewhere like the temple, which could cause a concussion or another serious injury.”
Rasmussen expressed concern about the psychological challenges that result in “children feeling forced to go to extremes to be accepted into a group”.
The ‘pass out challenge’ has already cost the lives of youngsters. Most recently, an 11-year-old boy from South Carolina died while taking the challenge.
YouTube is filled with videos of kids taking the pass out challenge.