Major warning as 'Vacuum Challenge' sees kids sealing themselves in bin bags

Major warning as 'Vacuum Challenge' sees kids sealing themselves in bin bags

Over the years, the internet has offered up many an entertaining viral challenge. The Florida man challenge, the Lindsay Lohan dancing challenge and the Matilda Challenge all come to mind.

But more often than not, viral challenges aren't controversy-free, as a new one has reminded us.

The Vacuum Challenge sees children sealing themselves in bin bags and sitting as the air is sucked out with a hoover.

Although upon first glance the actions may seem harmless, experts have reportedly expressed concern that the challenge could lead to cerebral hypoxia, caused by strangulation as the bag tightens around the neck and the oxygen supply to the brain is cut off.

According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke: "Brain cells are extremely sensitive to oxygen deprivation and can begin to die within five minutes after oxygen supply has been cut off."

For a better craze, watch how Lindsay Lohan's wacky moves spurred a viral dance challenge online:

Those who take on the challenge by themselves also risk getting stuck in the vacuum-sealed bags with no one to help them.

The bizarre challenge is believed to have been inspired by vacuum beds, reports the Daily Mail. Often used in BDSM play, a vacuum bed is a frame containing a latex suit, which covers the entire head and body. Participants climb into it and air is then removed using a suction pump or vacuum.

There are several ways the vacuum bed can be designed to facilitate breathing, the most common being a tube running from outside into the person's mouth.

A second option is a reinforced hole that is positioned so that the mouth protrudes and a third choice is a reinforced gasket through which one forces the entire head.

The Vacuum Challenge Credit: Instagram/THE_FLOWERTOTS_MUMMA

People online have expressed disdain that other social media users are even trying the challenge, with @sassylassee writing "People like this are the reason we have 'Do Not Swallow' warnings on hangers" and @suzidownunder putting: "People are so bored nowadays. Can't they go out for a walk or something".

"What the hell is wrong with people?????" added @republiclvr. "Good Lord go play a board game or fly a kite or something!"

To find out more about foolish viral trends, check out eight of the stupidest 'challenges' ever attempted on the internet.