The PureSight content analysts have discovered a recent resurgent (and worrying) trend on TikTok: the Nutmeg Challenge.
Similar to previous challenges involving spices, such as the similarly worrying Cinnamon Challenge, the Nutmeg Challenge poses way more than just a potential choking hazard: it can lead to intense and terrifying highs, often lasting up to 3 days, comas and even death.
In the challenge, TikTok users dare each other to drink between 2 to 4 tablespoons of nutmeg with the liquid of their choice, and then film the results.
The Dangers of the Nutmeg Challenge
Although it may sound harmless, actually, it only takes between 5 – 20g (1-4 teaspoons) of nutmeg to produce some pretty intense effects: other than potential choking, nausea, vomiting and other bodily sensations, this amount of nutmeg consumption can also produce an intense high, up to 6 hours later.
For comparison, a typical baked goods recipe using nutmeg as an ingredient will only require around a quarter of a teaspoon.
Nutmeg, unlike other spices that are ingested in massive quantities, is a toxic – and potentially deadly – substance, containing high levels of myristicin oil. This substance is also found in anis – another potentially deadly spice.
The Nutmeg Challenge is one that keeps resurfacing over time: back in 2000, the Journal of Toxicology reported on the outcome of a 13 year old who had ingested between 15 to 24 grams of nutmeg, discovering that she had developed “bizarre behavior and visual, auditory, and tactile hallucinations,” in addition to “nausea, blurred vision, numbness, muscle weakness, and more”.
How to Protect Your Kids from Taking the Nutmeg Challenge
You might find it tough or uncomfortable to talk to your children about the dangers of the Nutmeg Challenge; after all, it’s a substance that you might even have in your own home, or that’s easily enough purchased from the supermarket. You may find it lacks the necessity or urgency of warning your children about more knowingly harmful substances, like marijuana or alcohol.
However, in the right quantities, nutmeg can be even more dangerous than any illegal drug or alcohol.
Particularly because it’s so accessible, it’s something that you need to discuss the effects of with your children, especially since the Nutmeg Challenge lives on, and even thrives, on TikTok.
At the time of writing, the #nutmegchallenge page on TikTok has 52.2 million views. Telling users to “get it right and there is no greater feeling in the world”, it seems that, despite TikTok’s promise to remove content that has been reported, that the Nutmeg Challenge continues to be popular among users.
There are several things that you can do to keep your kids aware of the dangers of taking the Nutmeg Challenge, including:
- Discussing the nutmeg challenge with them, showing them toxicology reports (such as the one linked above), or scientific evidence of nutmeg and spice related toxicity consumption
- Showing them videos of the challenge ending in painful-looking and terrifying consequences
- Discussing with them how it might feel to be under the influence of a disastrous trip or nutmeg-related high, that potentially continues for up to two to three days
- Discussing the physical sensations and potential dangers that the nutmeg high produces (including comas, and even death)
However much you discuss and explain the above to your children, you can never be too sure of the content that they’re checking out online, especially on TikTok. And, if TikTok won’t be removing the Nutmeg Challenge hashtag anytime soon, you’ll need to take matters into your own hands.
Protecting Your Kids with PureSight
Luckily, PureSight has just the features you need for peace of mind when it comes to protecting and educating your kids about the dangers of Nutmeg Challenge.
You’ll be able to effortlessly walk the fine line between keeping your kids’ online activity private, yet will receive notifications should they do, or see, something that you deem inappropriate.
Thanks to features including advanced content monitoring, social media monitoring and app management, you can easily receive real-time updates about your kids’ online activity, and then choose which course of action to take.
Advanced Internet Filtering
With this handy feature, you can either block or restrict access, or even filter out anything that you consider to be inappropriate. That includes blocking the hashtag with the Nutmeg Challenge, or any terms related to it. You’ll receive notifications if your child accesses something questionable, and then can choose whether to block or restrict access to it.
Social Media Monitoring
Because TikTok allows your kids to easily share content across all their messaging and social media platforms, you need to be prepared to monitor them not just directly from TikTok, but also in the conversations surrounding it with your child’s friends.
PureSight’s social media monitoring allows you to track conversations across popular platforms, and if any keywords related to the Nutmeg Challenge (or any other topic you want your kids to stay away from) comes up, you’ll receive a notification, meaning you get to stay on top of your kids’ conversations, without having to go through their devices or messages yourself.
Easily Manage Apps and Games
Another way you could monitor your kids’ interactions and keep them safe from the Nutmeg Challenge is by managing the amount of time they spend on certain apps, like TikTok, or block them all together.
It goes without saying that, setting a screen time limit for TikTok or any other apps, or even outright blocking them, will go quite a long way to keeping them protected.
Protect your kids’ online with PureSight
The Bottom Line: Educate Your Kids About the Danger of Nutmeg Challenge
TikTok challenges come and go, and while these challenges pose some form of danger towards your children, it’s the Nutmeg Challenge that can be seemingly harmless, and yet all too harmful.
Exacerbated by months of quarantine and uncertainty with the global pandemic, the added danger of the Nutmeg Challenge is that it’s a spice that’s likely in your own home, and therefore easily accessible. It’s not a controlled substance, and yet it’s incredibly dangerous when used in the wrong way.
Keeping your kids safe and informed about the dangers of the Nutmeg Challenge starts with discussing it with them, and continues with PureSight’s monitoring tools. Because, your kids need to retain their private life and understand the dangers of the Nutmeg Challenge of their own accord… and you as a parent, need to be safe in the knowledge that your kids aren’t doing or consuming anything potentially harmful or inappropriate online. And if they are, you need to know about it…and put a stop to it quickly!