Dangerous trendHot Chip Challenge - Info and tips for parents and teachers

The Hot Chip Challenge is currently circulating on social media. Participants are asked to eat a tortilla chip with an extremely hot spice. Some media outlets are reporting on emergency medical services at schools. We provide information on how schools and parents can deal with online challenges that pose a health risk.

What is the Hot Chip Challenge about?

On TikTok and YouTube, children and young people are currently seeing videos in which users are taking part in the #HotChipChallenge or #OneChipChallenge. In this trend, the challenge is to eat the so-called hottest chip in the world (approx. 2 million Scoville) and then to keep it up for as long as possible without neutralizing the spiciness with milk or similar. Timers are sometimes used to check the staying power. The mostly youthful participants show physical reactions due to the high level of spiciness. Tortilla chips flavored with the "hottest chili in the world" are available through online shopping portals such as Amazon or at kiosks. Although these chips are not recommended for minors, they still get into children's hands time and again. Therefore, urgently discuss the health risks of this Challenge with children and young people, for example respiratory , stomach and circulatory problems or eye irritation.

What are challenges?

While people used to talk about "tests of courage," the English term "challenge" has now become established. This collective term is used on the Internet to refer to a wide range of tests of courage, skill tests or sporting challenges. Online challenges are not only entertaining for children and young people to watch, they also invite them to take part. While many challenges on YouTube and TikTok are primarily fun, there are also always dangerous trends. More information can be found in our Challenges topic area.

What to do about dangerous challenges?

Support children and young people in recognizing and correctly assessing the risks of challenges:

  • Discuss that there are also many fakes circulating among risky challenges. Encourage children and young people to criticallyquestion the actions shown.
  • Encourage children and young people not to put themselves or others in danger and not to give in to peer pressure when prompted.
  • Communicate that sharing dangerous challenges  can putothers at risk.
  • Inform other parents and class administrators if dangerous challenges are circulating among friends or at school.
  • Report dangerous Internet challenges to internet-complaint-site.com or jugendschutz.net and the corresponding online platform.
  • Do not condemn challenges across the board. Help interested children and young people find harmless challenges.
  • Stay in regular contact with children and young people to find out which dares are currently in vogue.

What can schools do?

Our teaching unit"Challenges - All in good fun?" offers educational professionals ideas for working on the topic of challenges with children and young people. For example, they can use an exercise to assess different challenges and discuss the problematic aspects of such challenging games with students. Finally, they can collect examples of positive, cooperative challenges with the group.

Closely related to challenges are so-called pranks. Here, pranks are played and filmed with a hidden camera. This can be fun, but it can also be dangerous to oneself or others. The lesson unit "Pranks - All in good fun??" encourages students to reflect together on which pranks are harmless and where boundaries are crossed.