Cops warn 'Skullbreaker' craze will lead to deaths, jail terms
Police have warned teenagers against copying a dangerous fad known as Skullbreaker Challenge where participants can end up with spine and head injuries, and death.
The "game" -- which has gone viral on social media -- involves tricking a participant into jumping before friends sweep the player's legs out causing him or her to fall heavily.
Police said those who cause severe injuries to people can face jail terms of between two and 10 years.
Doctors described the game, which originated in South America, as "deadly -- it can harm the skull, brain and neck bones".
Police and doctors fear Thai children will be exposed to the fad through clips posted on social media.
The game involves three people, with one of them persuaded to stand in the middle. That player is then asked to jump, but the two standing on either side suddenly kick out that person's legs to make him or her fall to the ground.
"If we find they intend to harm a person, they will receive punishments under the Criminal Code," deputy police spokesman Kissana Phatanacharoen said.
If a victim is seriously injured, his friends can be sentenced to up to 10 years in jail and pay a maximum fine of 200,000 baht under the law's Section 297.
Pol Col Kissana asked parents and teachers to help prevent kids from imitating the act as they tend to spend time on video-sharing platforms and social networking sites.
Medical Services Department chief Somsak Akkslip said Skullbreaker Challenge is "life-threatening" as the victim's head can hit the ground. The consequences could be horrific.
"The victim's skull will be broken and nerves will be damaged, with bleeding in the brain," he said.
"The victim is also at risk of suffering severe spinal cord injuries."