Derbyshire parents are being warned of a new social media craze in which children ‘dare’ each other to take painkillers.
In the so-called Paracetamol Challenge, youngsters have been challenging each other to take the over-the-counter tablets.
The craze first appeared in Scotland and health chiefs in Derbyshire have warned that even a small overdose can be deadly.
Dr Ruth Cooper, Governing Body member of NHS Hardwick Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We are urging all parents to be vigilant as social media crazes like the one currently happening in Scotland can spread rapidly. Paracetamol is a safe and effective drug when the correct dosages are used, but even a small overdose can have life-changing or fatal consequences.
“Anyone who takes over the recommended daily dose of four grams for an adult, which is only eight tablets in any 24 hour period, should seek medical advice as an emergency.
“It’s important that parents are constantly monitoring their children’s use of social media such as Facebook and Instagram which are used to spread this potentially lethal game.”
In Scotland, police were called in after one person was thought to have been hospitalised after taking part in what education chiefs describe as a “dangerous craze”.
Schools in East Ayrshire have sent out letters to alert parents and youngsters. Warnings were also made at school assemblies.
Other social media crazes from the last year include the ‘ice bucket challenge’ and the ‘neck-nomination’.