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New social media challenge is sparking concerns

Officials are warning parents about the latest viral social media challenge.<br />The outlet challenge is sparking concerns from Lincoln firefighters and LES.
Officials are warning parents about the latest viral social media challenge.<br />The outlet challenge is sparking concerns from Lincoln firefighters and LES.(KOLNKGIN)
Published: Jan. 23, 2020 at 7:43 PM CST
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Officials are warning parents about the latest viral social media challenge. The outlet challenge is sparking concerns from Lincoln firefighters and LES.

There's the tide pod, milk and even a cinnamon challenge. All can be dangerous, but this latest one circulating on social media goes against something most of us are taught at a young age. Don't play with or around electrical outlets.

The #outletchallenge is starting to go viral on TikTok, but don't worry if you haven't heard of it not many have.

"I had to look it up on YouTube to see what it actually was, and I was surprised that kids were actually doing something as risky as that," said Carey Jenkins with Lincoln Fire & Rescue.

The challenge includes partially plugging in a phone charger and then sliding a coin near the plug's exposed prongs. LFR and LES say those who do the challenge can start a fire, shock or even electrocute themselves.

"The risk is pretty much like playing Russian roulette. It only takes a .10 of an amp to kill somebody, and a typical household outlet is rated at 15-20 amps," said Jenkins.

They also say it doesn't matter if you're a baby or an adult, electricity coming from an outlet can be deadly.

"It really won't matter; electrocution is electrocution. The electricity is going to pass through somebody's body regardless," said Jim Riggs Safety Manager at LES.

"It's invisible to the naked eye, so it's very risky for anybody that even tries to attempt it," said Jenkins.

Jenkins says firefighters haven't received any calls on it yet in Lincoln, and he hopes it stays that way.

"You might try it 10 times and nine times you get away with it, and it's the 10th time that can be fatal for you," said Jenkins.

LFR and LES are encouraging parents to talk with their kids no matter how old they are and discuss the important of electricity safety. They also say this serves as another reminder to be aware of what your children are watching on social media.

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