RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - There's a coordinated effort to make sure your children don't fall victim to a viral craze that's making young people sick. The Tide Pod Challenge involves teens eating laundry detergent pods in videos on social media sites. Now some popular websites are fighting back.
YouTube and even Facebook are saying not so fast. Just as quickly as young people are posting videos of the Tide Pod Challenge, social media sites are removing them for good reason.
"What the heck is going on people?" NFL tight end Rob Gronkowski asks in a video posted on Twitter.
The phenomenon has gotten so extreme, Tide called on Gronkowski to help turn it around.
"Use Tide pods for washing, not eating," he says.
But a whole lot of folks are doing just that. They're even recording it in a likely quest for likes and shares on social media. Now some users are finding the videos they've uploaded aren't there anymore.
"The video has been removed according to YouTube for violating Youtube's policy for harmful or dangerous content," one user said on the site.
Experts say young people don't need any motivation to fall victim to such a dangerous trend.
"Small pediatric patients will ingest these products and have a reaction where they do have difficulty breathing," Mark Ryan, a poison control expert said.
It's landed youngsters in the emergency room.
"If you hear a kid talking about this, discourage it…It's not going to taste good. It's not nutritious. It's not going to make them high. It's more likely going to make them sick," Ryan added.
In a message shared on Twitter, Tide wrote "What should Tide pods be used for? Doing laundry. Nothing else."
Now a professional athlete is helping drive the message home.
"Do not eat," Gronkowski said.
Last year, poison centers saw more than 10,000 cases of children exposed to laundry detergent and those children were five years old or younger. That's why health experts are working so hard to crackdown on the Tide Pod Challenge and they say - talk to your children about it.
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