What is the Milk Crate Challenge, the new dangerous challenge on TikTok

Once again a challenge on social media puts the safety of thousands of kids at risk: this time it is the Milk Crate Challenge that is depopulated on TikTok

There is a new challenge that has gone viral in the U.S. on TikTok and Instagram: it's called the Milk Crate Challenge and it is dangerous to health, so much so that American health authorities have begun to raise alarms and, above all, to advise everyone against participating in it. Recommendations that, at the moment, have not had a positive outcome.

As the name suggests, the Milk Crate Challenge is a challenge that is based on the boxes that are used to transport the bottles of milk (milk crate, in fact). It consists of creating a ladder with the crates, then climbing up and down. The ladder is highly unstable and this makes the challenge very easy to organize, but very difficult to complete. And, at the same time, very dangerous: falling down is an instant, getting hurt is more than likely. And, in fact, it's already happening with dozens of American kids who end up in the hospital after falling from the ladder of cassette tapes and having caused themselves trauma and fractures. All while the Delta variant of the Coronavirus is rampant in the United States, doctors would have nothing to do but treat fractures and grazes, and beds are scarce because many wards have been converted to treat Covid patients.

Milk Crate Challenge: health care alerts

In an Aug. 23 tweet, U.S. TV host Conan O'Brien, who has 28 million followers, jokingly stated, "I'm waiting for FDA approval before I participate in the Milk Crate Challenge." The FDA, i.e. the Federal Drug Administration (the U.S. government agency that regulates the food and pharmaceutical industries) responded shortly thereafter, "Even though we regulate milk, we can't recommend that [to participate in the Milk Crate Challenge]. Maybe enjoy a nice glass of skim milk and return all those crates to the store?"

Even more explicit was the Baltimore Department of Health, also on Twitter: "With Covid-19 hospitalizations increasing across the country, please make sure there is a bed available at your area hospital before attempting the #MilkCrateChallenge."

TikTok's response

TikTok is now the number one social among the very young, so it's not surprising at all that most of the videos about the Milk Crate Challenge circulate on the very Chinese platform that, for that matter, has distanced itself from this collective challenge. But, as usual, TikTok has limited itself to the usual statements.

A company spokesperson in fact generically told Fast Company that "TikTok bans content that promotes or glorifies dangerous behavior, removes videos and redirects searches to guidelines to discourage such content. We encourage everyone to be cautious in their behaviors, both online and off."