Lookout Tide Pods, there are dozens of new plastic kids on the block. The latest social media challenge sweeping the internet has people swallowing king cake babies whole.
People, especially those starved for attention or with parent issues, are eating the plastic babies found in king cakes, a traditional dessert of Mardi Gras, in an attempt to experience “giving birth.” What started as a joke is now another dangerous challenge, often with dire consequences.
Chad Crews, a student at the University of New Orleans since 1993, says people will do anything for attention on social media outlets, even going so far as simulating birth out of their backsides.
“People come up with challenges just so they can become social media famous, and it’s getting harder and harder to break through the clutter,” Crews said.
“When you think about how to attract the most attention possible you begin to think what attracts more eyeballs than having a baby? Those kinds of pictures and videos are absolute gold online.”
According to the #BirthingChallenge, a person must swallow at least one plastic baby from a king cake and allow it to pass through his or her digestive system until the time comes to “give birth.” At this point, a friend who must be dressed in scrubs films the expectant parent-to-be during the “little miracle.”
Once birth has been given, the new parent must take a picture with his or her newborn, name it, and post the video and image to social media under the #BirthingChallenge hashtag. A few participants have attempted to swallow multiple babies to have “twins” or “triplets” and increase the attention given. Some are even going so far as to post ultrasound and “pregnancy” pictures to show off their bundles of upcoming pain.
Unsurprisingly, this social media trend can damage your health. Health officials are particularly worried about this challenge as there are a lot of idiots who surprisingly are still alive but may soon not be thanks to it.
“I can’t believe I’m saying this but these plastic babies were not meant for consumption. The king cakes, yes. The babies, no,” said Lana Riggins, Director of the Louisiana Poison Control Center.
“They [the babies] have the potential to do significant damage to the mouth, throat, esophagus, stomach, intestines, colon, and sphincter — let alone dignity — and that’s if you don’t choke first or have it caught in the digestion system, which will need emergency surgery.”
Riggins says the king cake babies are made of hard plastic that will not digest and will tear up your insides if you eat one. She went on to stress how a parent’s involvement could stop teens from harming themselves with this challenge and that adults who should know better are pretty much a lost cause. Ultimately, it is up to the individual how they go about the situation.
“This challenge is extremely dangerous and can cause serious complications. I don’t think people are thinking through what can happen inside their bodies if they attempt it. Even if you do ‘birth’ it, is it worth it? Being a parent isn’t all fun and games — this isn’t a joke. Seriously, don’t do it. I shouldn’t have to be telling people this but do not swallow king cake babies,” Riggins lamented with a sigh.
If you or someone you know eats king cake babies, call poison control immediately at 1-800-222-1222 or just let nature run its course.