Latest TikTok trend labelled 'child abuse' as doctors speak out

The Egg Crack Challenge has been widely condemned as cruel.

The latest TikTok trend is sweeping the app, and unsurprisingly, it's facing serious backlash.

Videos of the trend have collectively amassed hundreds of millions of views and involve parents or siblings smashing an egg off the forehead of a child.

Some have gone as far as labelling the prank as "child abuse" while paediatricians and educators have warned of emotional and physical damage.

The videos often begin in the kitchen with the unsuspecting child believing they are about to bake or cook something before an egg is smashed off their head, with the videos then capturing their reaction.

Prominent child's doctor on the social media app, Meghan Martin, told NBC News she strongly opposes the trend.

The TikTok trend has been widely condemned. Source: TikTok
The TikTok trend has been widely condemned. Source: TikTok

“We’re literally smacking salmonella on their foreheads,” she said. “It’s harder to get a toddler to drink fluids when they’ve got a stomach bug or food poisoning, and so they’re more likely to end up in the hospital for IV fluids.”

US-based doctor Don Grant questioned why parents would put themselves "in a situation where you're risking your child to [become] untrusting, shocked, surprised or shed a tear?", when asked by Fox News about the trend.

Rachel Griffin-Accurso, who has become an early learning sensation as Ms Rachel on YouTube, also criticised the trend.

"We need to be mindful that we're not causing any physical or emotional discomfort. Little ones feel safe when they can trust their parents and we don't want to lose that trust," she said.

TikTok has since put a warning on videos part of the trend warning the content "may not be comfortable for some audiences".

Children often used for likes on TikTok

Last year a similar trend gained traction for using a ghost filter to scare young children.

Trent Ray, an educator and founder of Cyber Safety Project & Collective Education Australia told Yahoo News Australia there are hidden dangers with such trends that could have long-term impacts on the development of children.

"It's certainly disturbing to say the least that parents are putting their kids through a traumatic experience for likes," Mr Ray said.

Mr Ray explained that just like exposing children to inappropriate content, parents who follow this and similar trends online are modelling this behaviour to their kids.

"It sets a standard that it's OK to do it with their friends," he explained. "We even see this through play, where kids tend to copy what their parents do. It is how they make sense of the world."

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