EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Over the past few weeks, parents and kids have seen a new trend emerge on the popular app TikTok. The trend includes cooking chicken in the over-the-counter cold and flu medication NyQuil which is leaving parents outraged over kids trying the dangerous trend.

El Paso local health experts say if parents are worried about their child taking part in the challenge, they need to do so with patience and understanding of the access their kids have to social media. According to Lupita Pena, with Emergence Health, adolescent kids are more prone to follow these kind of trends because of the all-around access they have compared to adults, but does warn of the vulnerability they face.

She explains that kids might not think it’s not important to think about the dangers but peer pressure plays a part in wanting to belong.

“They’re going to receive that information, a lot of times misinformation, from social media from the internet, from their peers at school, so they’re going to gain access and have that information. Many times it’s not correct or accurate.”

Dr. Sarah Martin, chief of childhood adolescence psychiatry at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso, agrees that peer pressure plays a major part in kids taking part in these challenges. However, she explains that young adults are prone to impulse decisions that may cause them to take part, but as they get older they learn to control that impulse.

“If people really think back to their own childhood or those teenage years, maybe they didn’t do every single thing that was as dangerous as some of the kids are doing now but a lot of kids did just as dangerous things,” she said.

Martin also explains that adolescents live in the moment and don’t think about their futures when taking part in popular trends that are dangerous and they could end up in a situation that they regret the rest of their lives.

Whether that trend includes dangerous substances or something non-lethal like NyQuil, kids need to understand the dangers they put themselves in.

“A lot of times it is the mental health that takes the toll if we’re talking about drugs, even if it’s something seemingly benign as NyQuil,” Martin said.

Both Martin and Pena understand that parents cannot monitor what their child sees online 24-hours a day. What they do encourage is for them to talk to their kids in a setting where both parties are comfortable so that kids can be understood and create a bond with the entire family.

“The more neutral tone intake or more interested you can sound instead of angry or upset or scared.”Martin said.

“Educate yourself. See what parental monitors are available, so you know what those are learning the lingo, know what’s out there and understand it better if not from the internet but your kids themselves,” Pena said.

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