TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — A Washington state school district warned parents about a potentially dangerous “penny challenge” spreading on social media.
The Tacoma School District said a middle school student in the district took part in the online trend last week, KOMO-TV reports.
The school district provided a photo of a burned electrical wall outlet resulting from the penny challenge. No injuries were reported.
Social media users are challenged to record a video of themselves sliding a penny between a partially plugged-in cell phone charger and a wall outlet, officials said.
Users are asked to film and post the results on the TikTok video-sharing channel.
Placing a penny across an active electrical connection will create sparks that can damage the outlet and potentially start a fire and cause injury, officials said.
“Most kids aren’t thinking about criminal charges or having to pay for the damage when they attempt these challenges,” Tacoma Fire Department Lt. Marja Stowell said. “Most of them probably don’t think they could die from this either.”
TikTok is intended for users 13 or older but the site does not verify a user’s age, Tacoma school officials said.
Parents can restrict or block apps from younger children by using parental control settings, the school district said.