Dashboard dolls trend on social media puts children’s lives at risk

Doctor warns against posting kids as "dashboard dolls." (via KhaoSod).

Dumb social media trend alert: The recent fad of photographing children as “dashboard dolls” has drawn severe criticism on child safety grounds. The trend involves parents positioning their children on the dashboard of cars, climbing or lying in the console area, before taking photos and videos to upload on social media.

Parents using their children as dashboard dolls for social media content has recently come under heavy criticism. A former doctor from Ko Lanta Hospital, Vitthawat Siriprachai, owner of the popular Thai Facebook page Drama Addict, warns parents about the potential risks involved.

This worrying viral social media fad has sparked a wave of concern within society, cautioning against unforeseen accidents and raising questions about child safety. Dr Vitthawat expressed his concern in a social media post. He warned parents that in the event of a car accident, a child perched on the dashboard like a doll could be propelled through the windscreen, vastly increasing the risk of fatalities.

Dr Vitthawat gave a thorough explanation of the physics involved in sudden stops and how disastrous it would be for dashboard dolls in his post.

“If a sudden halt occurs, say, another vehicle cut in and immediate braking is required, the car halts but the child’s kinetic energy propels their body forward. Assuming the car speeds at 60 kilometres per hour, the child’s body weight of approximately 8-10 kilogrammes is sufficient to thrust them through the car’s windscreen.”

The speed at impact – roughly 60km/hr – leaves a grisly scene for a dashboard doll, with body parts scattered across the ground. The doctor and owner of the popular Facebook page pleaded with all parents, advising them to secure their children in car seats and dissuading them from using their little ones as content in this manner.

Stupid Internet challenges have been around for almost as long as the Internet itself. (“Bet you can’t hold your breath through the entire Internet dial-up beeping noises!”) But as the concept of social media influencers – having a lot of followers for a living – has risen, people have taken increasingly dangerous risks for Internet fame and the possible money that comes with it.

Parents in Thailand were warned last year that a dangerous TikTok trend is encouraging teenagers to take Rohypnol, commonly known as “roofies” or “date rape drug.” Under the hashtag #BlueTongueTeenagers (#วัยรุ้นลิ้นฟ้า), teenagers in Thailand are posting photos and videos of their blue tongues after taking the drug. Drug dealers are using the hashtag to illegally sell the drug to teenagers online.

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Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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