TikTok’s latest trend, parents cracking an egg on a young child’s head, has been criticised by medical experts over the potential damage it could do.
The videos, many of which use the hashtag #eggprank, usually show a parent with a young child in the kitchen.
The parent takes a raw egg and tells the child they’re going to crack it, but instead of doing so in a pan or a bowl, they crack it on the child’s head before pouring the egg into a bowl or pan.
The phenomenon has gone viral, despite it causing some of the children to cry or leaving them looking upset and stunned. In some instances, the child throws an egg back at the parent.
By Tuesday, videos using the hashtag had more than 670m views, according to NBC, and some of them were clocking up as many as six million views each.
However, medical experts have warned that the prank could have side-effects, including bruising on the head or spreading germs.
Dr Meghan Martin, a paediatric emergency medical consultant at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in Florida, who has 1.3 million followers on TikTok herself, said: “I was not a big fan of this at all. This is not something that benefits kids in any way, and I honestly don’t find it entertaining.
“We’re literally smacking salmonella on their foreheads.
“It’s harder to get a toddler to drink fluids when they’ve got a stomach bug or food poisoning, and so they’re more likely to end up in the hospital for IV fluids.”
Amanda Mathers, a paediatric occupational therapist, who tried the prank out on herself, said it was “hard to crack that egg on my head and my fully developed skull.
“And I almost felt a shock of, like, tears behind my eyes just trying to slam that egg into my head.”
But Rebecca Burger-Caplan, clinical director of child, adolescent and family services at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, said a one-off experience such as the egg prank is unlikely to have long-term ramifications.
TikTok was contacted for comment.