Schools around the region Thursday warned parents about the Momo Challenge — a deadly online game that challenges kids to find creative ways to engage in self-harm and has led to suicide in some instances.
The Momo Challenge stems from a video that contains the picture of a bug-eyed corpse-like creature with a stringy black hair and a pointy chin.
In one version of the video — contained in a Peppa Pig episode — a cut away to Momo includes a terrifying rhyming warning that seems to urge self-harm.
“Hello I am Momo. Your worst nightmare I’m going to kill you. I will kill you. At night I will come when you are in your bed and you’ll be dead. You want a surprise? Look in my eyes. I won’t like you area going to die. Slice your leg and you will never meet me. Slice your wrists and your parents will never see me. Sweet dreams little one. Beware of me. Momo.”
Parents in the Temecula School District Wednesday received a warning about the videos from school officials.
“We are providing this advisory to you as we want you to have information about a game that has resurfaced called the Momo challenge,” wrote Laura Boss, Temecula Valley Unified School District Public Information Officer. “It is being embedded in child age YouTube videos that your child may accidentally stumble across, or even actively search for because they are curious about it. You may already be aware of it as it’s being discussed on several local social media platforms.”
School districts around the United States have issued similar warnings in recent days.
An expert in New Jersey had advice for parents whose children have not yet encountered the video.
“Preemptively addressing something with your kid is always better,” Dr. Meghan Walls, a pediatric psychologist, told WLIX.
She added it might be a good idea to gently ask your younger children if they know about the Momo Challenge
“Something like, Ya know, there’s some scary things that pop up on phones and tablets and if you ever see something like that, come get me.’”