March 1, 2019
    The Momo Challenge is the latest viral concern and social media fad going around. The Momo Challenge combines shock imagery and messages being hidden in child-friendly games and videos on YouTube and YouTube Kids such as Peppa Pig and Surprise Eggs. A Momo-like character has been spotted in the popular online video games, Fortnight, Minecraft and Roadblocks. Momo is a social media account that can be found on Facebook and Whatsapp.
    Example of Momo image
    The Momo is an image of a doll with long black hair and bulging eyes. This image and messages can be terrifying to young children and youth. The messages accompanying the image are said to encourage children to overcome a fear like waking up at odd hours of the night; doing destructive things, like self-harm or harm to their loved ones; placing themselves in dangerous situations like jumping off a roof; or other risky activities. As the challenge intensifies, Momo pressures the viewer to commit suicide.
    You are your child’s greatest protector; here are some things you can do:
    1. Talk regularly with your child about what they are doing online
    2. Be vigilant with your child’s use of technology including your phone or theirs
    3. Monitor the apps your child is using
    4. Have a social media contract with your child
    5. Talk to your kids about the Momo Challenge – Ask them if they know what it is. Discuss a plan that includes what they can do if they receive a message with a Momo Challenge or see the face of the Momo Challenge
    School counselors and school psychologists are available to engage in supportive conversations with children and youth as well as to provide resources and to offer expertise in preventing harmful behaviors. Please do not hesitate to reach out to your child’s school.
    ~Dr. Kamela Patton