Ever since the internet was invented, teenagers have been inventing dumb stuff to post on it. The latest dumb thing to do is a dangerous TicTok challenge where teens dare one another to drink excessive amounts of cold medicine containing diphehydramine, otherwise known as the Benadryl Challenge. A 13-year-old boy in Ohio was the most recent victim, succumbing to injuries he sustained from an overdose after languishing in the hospital for several weeks.
Most parents don’t realize how dangerous over-the-counter (OTC) products can be, so its doubtful most kids do. Although Benadryl actually has an active ingredient that can be helpful for allergies, many other OTC cold products offer zero benefit and can be every bit as dangerous. Several years ago the FDA tried to ban such products because they offered no benefit and had killed around 100 kids through accidental overdoses. Unfortunately, at the last minute, industry lobbyists were able to kill the ban and keep these dangerous products on the shelves. Teens have also been known to abuse these, and they continue killing children to this day.
So talk with your kids and make sure they understand the danger. Not everything they see on the internet is worth trying for themselves, and just because you can buy it in the store does not mean it’s not dangerous. Parents can also help by ridding their home of unused medications, and don’t buy over the counter cough and cold products period, and antihistamines only if you have a reason.