Children risking lives in dangerous 'paracetamol challenge' craze

Children are risking their lives by taking part in a dangerous new social media craze called the paracetamol challenge, police have warned.

The trend involves youngsters being dared to take "excessive amounts" of the painkiller on Facebook and Instagram.

A secondary school in East Ayrshire, Scotland sent a letter to parents urging them to monitor their children's activity online in case they are tempted to take part in the trend.

The alert comes after a teenager was reportedly hospitalised.

Taking too much paracetamol can cause serious liver damage, haemorrhaging and brain damage.

In a statement to ITV News, Alan Ward, head of schools at East Ayrshire Council, said: "The challenge results in young people daring each other, through Instagram and Facebook, to take excessive amounts of paracetamol and this is a matter of great concern.

"We are urging parents to talk to their children about the potential dangers of taking paracetamol and to discourage their children from engaging in any online activity in support of this dangerous craze."