Parents in UAE breathe uneasy over trending #VacuumChallenge


The #VacuumChallenge is termed incredibly dangerous and stupid. — Courtesy:  @mariagisk (Instagram)
The #VacuumChallenge is termed incredibly dangerous and stupid. - Courtesy:@mariagisk (Instagram)

Dubai - The doctor has warned residents against trying out the challenge as it can lead to "serious health complications".

By Sarwat Nasir

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Published: Sun 9 Jun 2019, 11:00 PM

Last updated: Mon 10 Jun 2019, 1:41 AM

Parents in the UAE have expressed concern over a dangerous social media challenge that involves Netizens sealing their bodies - even their heads sometimes - in large trash bags and sucking the air out with a vacuum cleaner. They then try to move or get out of the deflated trash bag.
Dubbed the #VacuumChallenge, the fad has been trending on social media, with several people posting videos of themselves and even their kids doing the stunt.
A Dubai-based doctor called the challenge "incredibly dangerous and stupid", as it could suffocate the person trying it and even lead to different types of skin diseases. "It doesn't take much of a brain to understand that they're taking away all of the oxygen. If you put your head inside a place where there's no oxygen, it's obvious that you'll suffocate. I can't believe that they would actually do this.
"The pores in the skin allow us to sweat when we're doing a physical activity. But when you cover all your pores, it minimises the total amount of oxygen that is supposed to be taken. It can lead to skin diseases and infections, especially if you have open wounds. If you stay in there for too long, it can lead to sagging of the skin and cell death."
The doctor has warned residents against trying out the challenge as it can lead to "serious health complications".
Yasmin Siddiqui, a parent of three children, said she was "outraged" after seeing the challenge trend on social media. "It's not scary, it's stupid. I don't find any kind of 'challenge' in this."
A parent of two children, Iram Rizvi, said she was "horrified" after learning about the challenge. "There are individuals who are blatantly promoting this challenge as something fun and do not realise what bone chilling consequences it might have: Choking and having all oxygen supply cut off, resulting in a condition called cerebral hypoxia, which can potentially be fatal.
"What enraged my sensibilities as a parent was that social media sites have hundreds of videos of parents performing the challenge on their children.
"As a parent, I ensured that my children understand the hazards related to this challenge. I feel it's important to do so because if I don't keep them informed, they might hear about it from their friends in school and not really understand the complete picture and be tempted to try it. Now that they do know what this latest challenge is and how dangerous it can be, I know what they will never attempt it. Additionally, they can pass on the awareness to their peers."
Another expat in Dubai, Sarosh Amin Vira, said this challenge was not only dangerous to the person doing it, but also viewers, as they could "feel pressured" to do it to "look cool and trendy".
The #VacuumChallenge is one of many other dangerous social media fads that have trended in the recent past. The Blue Whale, 'In My Feelings' and Tide Pod challenges are some of the others that sparked outrage.

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