Jamie Prescott, from Bristol, shared a photo of her daughter’s injuries on Facebook and urged others to share the post “far and wide” to let parents know about the “challenge” that could be happening among their child’s school friends.
“These are the damaging results of something known as ‘The Deodorant Challenge’ which is currently doing the rounds in Yate [in Bristol] and literally involves spraying deodorant on to someone else for as long as possible,” Prescott wrote on Facebook on 4 May while sharing graphic photos of her daughter’s injuries, which she says “may require a skin graft”.
Sheila Merrill, public health adviser for The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), told HuffPost UK: “We are disappointed to see this irresponsible new craze emerging, which may result in such serious burns that may result in someone needing medical attention.
“Deodorant is a personal hygiene product and should not be played with, whatever the circumstance, even if it is meant as a joke. At a time when the health services are under huge pressure dealing with serious health and injury cases, we would hope that people will not selfishly add to this by causing injury to themselves by taking part in this silly new fad.”
Prescott said her daughter was asked to put out her arm by a fellow student and she did, not knowing what was really going on. Now, she has to go to surgery once a week for check-ups on the burn. “It seems fairly common, a lot of people have showed me their arms after doing it a while ago,” the mum told Somerset Live.
The mum’s Facebook post had more than 3,500 shares and hundreds of comments from shocked parents, with others having noticed it too. “I hope your daughter’s arm is better soon,” a mum wrote. “My son did this [and is] now suffering the consequences. Totally unaware of this at first, a very upsetting experience for all us.”
Another mum, from Manchester, wrote: “Yea, happening here too. This is awful. My nephew was doing this when he started secondary school. It’s so ridiculous, why are the teachers not aware about this.”
And a dad from Cardiff commented: “Here too, thankfully not for my son but I have seen a notice go round school about it.”
One person commented showing this trend is nothing new, writing: “I’m 25 and I did this years ago when I was at school. Thought it was all fun and games. But nope now I’m left with a big scar.”
Many parents commenting on the post urged other parents who may not know about the trend to talk to their children about it. “I pray please talk to your kids about this,” one person wrote. “Tell them about the lady who said it left her scarred, they need to know how harmful it is.”
And another wrote: “Just showing your child these pictures will hopefully deter them - remind your kids that it scars.”