Chatham EMS warns youth of viral ‘outlet challenge’

Chatham EMS warns youth of viral ‘outlet challenge’

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) -Another “challenge” is circulating all over the internet, specifically on the social network “Tik-Tok.”

It’s called the ‘outlet challenge.’

Local emergency services are warning people about the dangers, saying it has the potential to cause serious damage.

“The problems with this are vast," says Paramedic Doug Lewis. "You have the potential to be electrocuted, you have the potential to have severe burns.”

People in the videos take a phone charger and partially plug it into an outlet. They then slide a penny down onto the exposed prongs. When this happens, it’ll spark and create smoke.

Lewis says most people don’t realize how dangerous a standard household current is, but that messing with outlets like this can cause a wide variety of things to happen.

“The lower voltage has a tendency to have you grab hold and not be able to let go. Heaven forbid the circuit breaker doesn’t pop and then the length of exposure is longer than a quick zap.”

He says while kids think they’re being funny on social media, it’s a tragedy waiting to happen. He says you can be electrocuted, catch the house on fire, die or get seriously burned.

“Circumferential burns to the hand could be very dangerous and be life-altering," Lewis said. "It can leave people permanently scarred and cause decrease use of their hand. In addition to injury, the potential to start a fire is tremendous.”

Lewis says parents should talk to their kids about this, if they’re active on social media, to warn them against taking part in this new viral trend.

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