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PSA: Stop Doing the Vacuum Challenge

vacuum challenge

It seems like after the cheese throwing challenge, the Internet just gave us another weird thing to do, the Vacuum Challenge (or Vacuum Trash Bag Challenge, Bin Bag Challenge). However the Internet’s newest challenge is not completely harmless. Doctors and medical experts are warning that this challenge could lead to serious health risks.

So, what is the the vacuum challenge? It is literally sitting in a thick black trash bag with your knees to your chest and either you or someone else sucks the air from the bag with a vacuum cleaner. The trash bag, as the air gets sucked out, wraps around your body tightly till the point that you cannot move. It typically results in the person in the trash bag just toppling over since they cannot move at all. It seems that those people attempting that challenge like the feeling of being vacuumed and it brings a lot of laughs in the group.

However, this challenge carries a lot of health risks. There is the obvious risk of suffocation and loss of blood circulation as the bag is constricting your movement and breathing. From the toppling, one could also hit their head hard on the ground which can cause serious head injuries. Since it is extremely difficult to tear yourself out from the bag, there is the possibility that one could get panic attacks because they cannot get out.

vacuum challenge child
People of all ages, including children, are being drawn into this challenge (screenshot by me from Twitter. Details and the face have been blacked out for privacy)

Quite possibly, the most serious risk it can come out from the challenge cerebral hypoxia. It is a condition where there is a decrease of oxygen flowing through the brain due to the bag tightening around the neck and body. It can lead to memory loss, decrease in motor coordination and brain damage.

It can be as extreme as to cover the head too (screenshot by me from Twitter. Details have been blacked out for privacy)

It goes without saying, do not try this, especially young children. There is a case where a teenage boy tried this challenge alone at home and he could not get out the bag for two hours, till his parents came back home. The consequences can be quite disastrous if this was attempted and something goes wrong.

Parents, caretakers and guardians, please advise your children to not attempt to vacuum themselves inside a trash bag. Teach them about the issues about these viral Internet challenges as even though some of the challenges are harmless, one should err to side of caution and not jump onto the bandwagon just like that.

Let us know your opinions on this matter! Have you attempted this challenge before? What do you think about these viral challenges happening in the Internet.

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