Parac­eta­mol Chal­lenge a deadly game

The Scotsman - - General Assembly - CAMP­BELL THOMAS

CHIL­DREN have been risk­ing their lives in a po­ten­tially lethal new so­cial me­dia craze that en­cour­ages the abuse of painkillers.

In the so-called “Parac­eta­mol Chal­lenge” young­sters dare each other to take the over-the-counter tablets.

But even a small over­dose can have life-chang­ing or fa­tal con­se­quences, medics have warned.

Po­lice were called in af­ter one per­son was thought to have been hos­pi­talised af­ter tak­ing part in what ed­u­ca­tion chiefs de­scribes as a “danger­ous craze”. Par­ents were also urged to mon­i­tor their chil­dren’s use of so­cial me­dia such as Face­book and Instagram, used to spread the po­ten­tially lethal “game”.

Schools in East Ayr­shire have sent out let­ters to alert par­ents and young­sters. Warn­ings were also made at school as­sem­blies. Alan Ward, head of schools at East Ayr­shire Coun­cil, said Po­lice Scot­land were no­ti­fied af­ter re­ports of the Parac­eta­mol Chal­lenge first emerged in March.

He added: “We have been en­cour­ag­ing par­ents to mon­i­tor their child’s safety on so­cial me­dia.

“The ‘chal­lenge’ re­sults in young peo­ple dar­ing each other, through Instagram and Face­book, to take ex­ces­sive amounts of parac­eta­mol and this is a mat­ter of great con­cern.”

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