Tricks Without the Treats


The West Virginia Poison Center warns of the dangers of online dares and challenges

CHARLESTON — Halloween is a time for “trick or treat”, but dares and challenges can often lead to tricks, with no treats. Prepare teens to know what a reasonable dare is and what crosses the line into a scary or dangerous dare.

Dares have been around for a long time but have risen in popularity with the Internet and social media. While some dares are harmless, others may have severe consequences.

Some dares, like the Cinnamon Challenge, seem fine since the item is edible. However, it is important to remember that anything can be a poison if enough is ingested. The dose makes the poison. For example, while a little hot sauce won’t hurt most people, more can be dangerous.

An edible or “legal” item does not mean a dare is safe. Any dare involving medications or chemicals, or that alters how a person thinks or behaves could cause harm.

Talk to children, friends, and family about the dangers of some dares. Talk about peer pressure. Talk about specific dares and what makes them dangerous. Encourage people that it is ok to say no.

The West Virginia Poison Center is free and confidential. Never feel embarrassed for calling.

Save the West Virginia Poison Center number—1-800-222-1222.

If a poisoning occurs, do not wait for symptoms to appear. Call the medical experts at the West Virginia Poison Center 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

About the West Virginia Poison Center:

The West Virginia Poison Center provides comprehensive emergency poison information, prevention and educational resources to West Virginians 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. The WVPC is staffed by nurses, pharmacists and physicians with special training in treatment of poisonings. Located in Charleston, WV, the WVPC is a part of the West Virginia University-Charleston Division. Toll-free: 1-800-222-1222. Website: www.wvpoisoncenter.org.

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