Dad Issues Warning After Son, 13, Winds Up Dead After Attempting Viral 'Benadryl Challenge'


Another dangerous TikTok challenge is in the headlines after a teenager lost his life taking part in one.

According to WSYX, 13-year-old Jacob Stevens of Columbus, Ohio, died of an overdose after copying a dangerous TikTok trend challenging kids to consume over-the-counter medication.

The challenge was to consume 12 to 14 Benadryl pills in order to create a hallucination. But the teenager overdosed and ended up on a ventilator. After six days, Jacob died.

“When he did it all came at once and it was too much for his body,” his father Justin Stevens told WSYX.

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Now the Stevens family wants to warn other parents in order to prevent the same fate befalling from befalling other children. Dianna Stevens, Jacob’s grandmother, said, “I’m going to do anything I can to make sure another child doesn’t go through it.”

Meanwhile, Justin Stevens warned, “Keep an eye at what they’re doing on that phone. Talk to them about the situation I want everyone to know about my son.”

Justin Stevens is also advocating for lawmakers to put age restrictions on buying drugs like Benadryl as well as putting age restrictions on social media sites like TikTok.

American parents, and indeed parents all over the world, would be foolish to ignore the lessons brought forth by the sad passing of Jacob Stevens.

Should TikTok be banned in America?

In an age where social media plays an increasingly large role in our lives, it is more imperative than ever for parents to be aware of what their children are exposed to on the internet.

This is not to blame parents for the things that happen to their children as a result of the internet, but merely to point out that parents are often unaware of what kinds of content their children are able to access on the internet.

In addition to dangerous TikTok challenges, children on the internet are also exposed to sexually explicit content and violent content that has the potential to do great damage to their developing brains.

Parents have a duty to protect their children from this harmful content.

Yet despite the fact that this is a broad problem on all social media sites, TikTok seems to have a special problem with its content that other social media sites do not have.

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Lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle are calling for the government to ban TikTok, in part due to the dangerous content that children are exposed to on the website.

That, combined with the fact that TikTok is allegedly selling Americans’ personal data to the Chinese government, means that people who use TikTok in the United States are really playing with fire.

Jacob Stevens’s passing should be a wake-up call to all of us, and help us finally realize that it is time to ban TikTok.

Pray for Jacob’s family, and pray that our government will listen to reason and put a stop to this dangerous social media site that is doing immeasurable harm to young people in America.

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Peter Partoll is a commentary writer for the Western Journal and a Research Assistant for the Catholic Herald. He earned his bachelor's degree at Hillsdale College and recently finished up his masters degree at Royal Holloway University of London. You can follow him on Twitter at @p_partoll.