Momo challenge: Game linked to child deaths tells boy to stab himself

Head teachers have been contacted by police to provide information on the MOMO game craze.

But this week, parents across the United Kingdom are finding the game on WhatsApp as well as hidden within animated videos for children across social media.

According to national media reports, some schools across the country have sent warnings to parents about the "distressing" content involved in the "challenge".

The Momo challenge, the risky online "suicide game" that's played on Whatsapp, Facebook and YouTube, is in the news again after two mothers expressed fears that it's made its way into British playgrounds. "We remove flagged videos that violate our policies".

It adds that "as a parent, it's hard to spot these videos as the harmful content doesn't appear until partway through the video".

It's being called by many as the "Momo Challenge".

A spokesperson for the United Kingdom's National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) told Express it can be hard for parents to keep track of everything their children access on the internet because technologies are constantly evolving and advancing. The next time parents are faced with sharing an all-caps horrifying warning about a boogieman out to get their children, they need to consider their own role in creating the monster before clicking share.

"Reassuring a child that they can still be accepted even if they don't go along with the crowd will help stop them doing something that could hurt them or make them uncomfortable".

As the nature of each task become progressively worse it's also important to recognise any changes in your child's behaviour. "We encourage you to be vigilant when your child is using any device or watching any clips". Also, make sure you can see their screen while they are on a computer or device. Then, a woman with exaggerated features comes on and tells the children how to kill themselves and that, if they don't, she will harm them and their friends.

Trends and viral challenges can be tempting for children to take part in; no matter how risky or scary they seem.

Reports in Europe and around the world have linked the game to suicides of young children.

If they are unsure, encourage them to talk to you or another trusted adult.

Her video about the "Momo Challenge" has 2.3 million views.

Parent Gemma Leanne Walker, 26, of St Mary's Bay who has a nine-year-old daughter, Ella, at Dymchurch Primary, said: "I usually think things like this that circulate are nothing but with this one my daughter came to me to ask me to google it".

Check the validity of the source and be mindful of what you share as it may only cause more worry.

People find ways around a platform's algorithm in order to share and promote this type of material.

  • Jacqueline Ellis