Teen Breaks Neck While Participating in Viral TikTok Challenge
In 2020, 16-year-old Sarah Platt was competing in a hockey tournament when her friends encouraged her to make a video while doing the viral TikTok "skull breaker" challenge. The stunt features one person jumping in the air while two people kick their legs out from underneath them. This obviously leads to a hard fall for the challenger.
Although her friends were not injured, Platt unfortunately fell on her neck during the challenge. She was immediately taken to the hospital after realizing she had no feeling in her right leg.
“It was just a trend that was around at the time. We thought making the TikTok would be fun and funny but I didn’t really want to take part because I just didn’t want to get hurt. But it was a little bit of peer pressure," she told The Mirror.
Doctors discovered Platt broke her T5 vertebrae along with three bones in her neck.
Platt wasn't the only person injured by the challenge. Other severe injuries were reported from the viral challenge back in 2020.
"Nothing is more important to us than the safety and well-being of our community, and especially our teenage users," a spokesperson for TikTok said in a statement regarding the incident.
"TikTok is a strictly 13+ platform and our Community Guidelines make clear that we do not tolerate content that promotes dangerous acts that may lead to harm. Last year we launched a major global project to learn about the nuances of this topic and we have since taken a series of proactive steps to further protect our community and to educate them on how to interact safely with what they see online."
Platt, now 18, is able to walk. However, after the injury she developed postural tachycardia syndrome — a heart condition that causes her to faint.
“I want to try and make people more aware not to do it, because it could end in someone getting hurt," Platt continued.
“We were one of the lucky ones. She’s alive and walking — thank god — but we are obviously having to deal with something else as a result," Platt's mother, Jane, added.