A new disturbing prank leaves some children with severe injuries

The "Skull-breaker" challenge has gained popularity on social media apps like TikTok.
4:10 | 02/22/20

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Transcript for A new disturbing prank leaves some children with severe injuries
leaving some children with severe injuries. The skull breaker challenge gaining popularity on the popular app tiktok. ABC's Kenneth Moton joins us with more on that. Kenneth, good morning. Good morning, whit. Look, we all know the tiktok app is about fun and entertaining videos, but this new challenge, this effort for a quick laugh is really causing harm and there's nothing funny about the injuries. People, many of them teens, have suffered. It's the latest viral craze. Causing injuries across the U.S. And the globe. This morning, the urgent effort to stop this cruel prank on the popular app tiktok. Two people fool an unsuspecting third into jumping into the air kicking their feet right out from under them, the challenge aptly named the skull breaker. I couldn't get up because I couldn't feel my hands, my feet, nothing. I was numb. Reporter: 13-year-old Kathleen Dejesus a target of the challenge rushed from her Lawrence, Massachusetts, middle school to the hospital where she spent two days for a severe concussion. I was screaming that I needed an ambulance. I was thinking, oh, my god, I'm going to lose my life for this game. I should have never done it. Reporter: To Portland, Oregon. These seniors asked if I would jump for that tiktok video. Reporter: Another victim, 14-year-old Olivia rods. I hit my head on the ground really hard, and I remember like blacking out for a second, and I started to get an instant like pressure headache. Reporter: The potential long-lasting injuries now has medical professionals posting their own videos warning people, especially young ones. The types of head injuries can be anything from a skull fracture to a full out concussion and even paralysis. Reporter: It's not the first challenge on tiktok to cause harm. The outlet or penny challenge sparked damage and even fires. The popular social media app tells ABC news user safety is a top priority and do not allow content that encourages or replicates dangerous challenges that might lead to injury. Tiktok calls the skull breaker challenge a violation of its guidelines promising to remove the videos from its platform. The app even has a warning now that pops up when people search for #skullbreakerchallenge and it just launched a family safety mode to give parents more control. Whit. All right, Kenneth, thanks so much. Disturbing story. Joining us now is parenting expert Ericka souter to tell us more about what parents need to know on all of this. Thank you so much for joining us. First of all, how can parents track trends like this to make sure they're on top of what's going on? We're all busy and stressed out but one thing I do, I have a Google alert for internet challenges or dangerous internet challenges because even if your kids haven't started talking about it, for you to know what they may talk about, what may interest them is really important so you head off any discussions. Why are teens drawn to challenges like this? Well, teens are naturally impulsive. They love attention-seeking behavior. One thing important to remember the part of the brain, prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for rational decision-making isn't actually fully developed until your mid-20s. So a lot of times our teens can't think through these choices and can't make a rational decision. It drives us crazy but there's science behind that. We watch these videos and think why would anybody do that? That's a big part of it. It explains a lot. How do you monitor your kids' social media? Well, you do just that. You do monitor it. One of the rules that we have in our house is that once a week a parent can take the devices and take a look at everything that they've been searching for, everything that they've been seeing on social media, and it's not just about what they say, it's what people are saying to them and sometimes when they know that you're going to be monitoring it, it can make them rethink a bad decision. How do you talk to your kids about this? A lot of kids are afraid of being left out. These challenges are very dangerous. The tide pod challenge, the choking challenge, and it's okay to give them examples of when it went wrong for a lot of children. You know, people wound up in the hospital with permanent damage. It's not about scaring them but it's about letting them know what they risk by taking on these challenges just from a sake of having fun. And there's a trick to it, timing. You got to be on top of the trend before your kids start to experiment. We do. A parent's job is never done. We have to be like these digital detectives on top of everything Stay on top of it. Ericka souter, always great to see you. Thank you so much.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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