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Parents warned over online 'Momo challenge' that encourages children to self-harm

The “Momo challenge” has started to appear on social media platforms in recent days.

Image: Shutterstock/guteksk7

GARDAÍ HAVE ISSUED a reminder to parents to supervise their children’s online activity after a new online craze emerged which encourages children to self-harm.

The “Momo challenge” has recently started to appear on social media platforms as a form of cycber-chain letter.

In it, a woman tells individuals to communicate with her via WhatsApp and other platforms and when contact is made, the woman reportedly asks individuals to perform dangerous tasks, including self-harm.

The PSNI issued a warning against the challenge over the weekend, following reports of its appearance on YouTube.

“Our advice as always, is to supervise the games your kids play and be extremely mindful of the videos they are watching on YouTube,” the PSNI said.

“Ensure that the devices they have access to are restricted to age suitable content.”

Momo An image of the woman who appears on the 'Momo challenge'

Meanwhile, Gardaí also reminded children and parents to be safe online following reports of the challenge, and issued a number of safety tips.

They warned the public to make sure that those who contact them are people they know in the real world, to be careful about the kind of information they share online, and to report instances where they feel something is suspicious.

If you need to talk, contact:

  • Samaritans 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.ie
  • National Suicide Helpline 1800 247 247 – (suicide prevention, self-harm, bereavement)
  • Aware 1800 80 48 48 (depression, anxiety)
  • Pieta House 01 601 0000 or email mary@pieta.ie – (suicide, self-harm)
  • Teen-Line Ireland 1800 833 634 (for ages 13 to 19)
  • Childline 1800 66 66 66 (for under 18s)

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