Don’t Try These Challenges at Home

The FDA wants you to know that you should not cook chicken in NyQuil. 

Boiling cough medicine can make it more concentrated and can release vapors that can hurt your lungs, or even give you an overdose of medication. TikTok has now banned posts with #sleepychicken as the hashtag, but it appears that the recipe was being shared — possibly for years before it was banned. 

There have been other dangerous challenges on social media:

  • The Tide Pod challenge had people eating laundry pods
  • The Benadryl Challenge has led to deaths among teens overdoing on Bendryl
  • The Blackout Challenge encouraged kids to hold their breath till they passed out, and has also resulted in deaths

The list could be a lot longer. 

How to protect your kids

First, talk about these challenges. When you hear about them or see them on the news, you might hesitate the bring them up for fear of encouraging kids to try them. However, bringing them into the open and discussing the dangers can keep kids from being caught up in them. 

Forbidding kids to use TikTok may backfire. Chances are your kids will hear about these challenges from friends even if they don’t see them on social media. Knowledge is a more effective protection than trying to shield them.

For example, you can explain that cooking medicine will cause the water in the cough syrup to evaporate, making the concentration of alcohol and other ingredients stronger. It is not possible to control the dosage in a serving of “sleepy chicken” as you do when taking NyQuil. Kids can also understand that the smell of the cooking medicine is actually fumes that contain the same chemicals. They get into the blood stream, faster than when the medication is taken orally. 

With this information, kids can decide not to try the challenge and back up their decision when they talk with friends.