The ’48-Hour Challenge’ encourages teens to go missing for two days – and it’s taking over social media.

Police in the US are warning parents about a new trend putting children and teenagers at risk. The ’48-Hour Challenge’ has gone viral on social media, encouraging those as young as fourteen to stop all contact with their parents and run away from home for two days.

Should Know Better

The game involves children going missing for 48 hours, earning points whenever a family member or friend posts about their disappearance on social media. A UK mother whose child participated the ’48-Hour Challenge’ back in 2017 told a British newspaper that it had a devastating impact on their family. “The anxiety it left our family in is unspeakable,” she said. “These kids just think it’s funny. There was not even a moment of remorse when my child was taken into police custody, and when the police brought my child home, I could see posts of selfies from the police car.” Her daughter had been missing for 55 hours, with no indication of her whereabouts and countless posts begging her to return on social media, meaning she was ‘in the lead’ when it came to the competition…

Peer Pressure

The challenge is not the first of its kind, with the equally disturbing Tide Pod challenge and Bird Box challenge also going viral, prompting police in the US to issue an urgent warning to parents encouraging them to monitor their child’s use of social media. The consequences of participating in these challenges can be potentially fatal, with a participant in the Bird Box Challenge lucky to be alive, crashing her vehicle while driving with her hat over her eyes into oncoming traffic.

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Thinking about your child going missing is unthinkable for any parent, so it’s always a good idea to keep an eye on your teenager for any behaviour that is out of character, and be willing to have a discussion with them about the potential dangers of trends like this.

Do you monitor your teen’s use of social media? Tell us in the comments!


  • I think these ‘missing’ teenagers should go & visit real families that have had relatives taken from them. Maybe then they will realise the seriousness of what they are doing!


  • I have a feeling my friend who has two teenage boys are taking part in this challenge but only one returned home. Her other boy is MIA.

    • Wow! That’s terrible. Hope he comes home soon safely!


  • My daughter wouldn’t dare do this. One of the conditions she’s slowed out at night is that she has her location services on so I can see where she is at all times, the minute she’s in locatable is when I start calling the friends which she doesn’t want to happen as it’s embarrassing. I also expect a check in call or text every 1/2 hour and not to ignore curfew times otherwise consequences of not being allowed out as well as phone convenscating will happen she is 16


  • Not a good trend !


  • Really? Surely this isn’t actually a thing!!!


  • This is total crap! What a stupid fad!


  • So hard for people who are really missing and no one looks because of the boy who cried wolf.


  • This is really quite silly, also makes it harder for police/ investigations to know if a case is really a missing person or just a game.


  • Sucha a stupid thing if this is what’s happening these days


  • What would be the point in putting your family through the anxiety and worry? Let alone putting yourself in danger. Crazy.


  • Luckily my daughter is not interested in social media at all.
    This challenge is really worrying!!


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