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Doctors warn against viral Milk Crate Challenge: ‘Real people are getting real injuries’

Doctors are warning against trying the viral Milk Crate Challenge because of its dangerous nature, claiming “real people are getting real injuries.”

The Milk Crate Challenge, when people set up a pyramid of milk crates and try to walk across without falling to the ground, has recently gone viral on social media platforms.

Videos of people attempting the difficult challenge have circulated on the internet, which usually end with the structure collapsing to the ground and the daring participant falling

Doctors, however, are now putting out warnings that the seemingly humorous activity actually poses a serious safety risk, especially amid the pandemic.

Medical professionals are saying the challenge is putting an additional strain on hospital systems because participants who do not complete the walk often need medical attention afterwards.

“Everyone needs to do their part in supporting first responders and health-care providers, and that involves not partaking in challenges like this one that are putting additional strain on the system,” Shawn Anthony, an orthopedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, told The Washington Post.

While it is not known how many injuries or hospital visits the viral challenge has caused, Anthony, who described the dare as a “dangerous Internet challenge,” told the Post that colleagues nationwide have been reporting in online forums that they are seeing more challenge participants with a number of injuries, including shoulder dislocations, rotator-cuff tears, ACL and meniscus tears, broken wrists and spinal cord injuries.

Henry Schuitema, chief of emergency medicine at Jefferson Health in New Jersey, told the Post that his hospital recently treated a patient who fractured several ribs after attempting the challenge.

“So many of these injuries we’re seeing are preventable just by being intelligent,” he said. “If you catch a corner of one of those crates, it’s going to be problematic. It looks like something funny, but real people are getting real injuries.”

Schuitema said social media platforms, especially TikTok, are to blame for amplifying and spreading the challenge.

TikTok, in a statement to the Post, said the platform “prohibits content that promotes or glorifies dangerous acts.”

“We remove videos and redirect searches to our Community Guidelines to discourage such content,” the statement added. “We encourage everyone to exercise caution in their behavior whether online or off.”