Please sit down and explain the dangers to your child now.
runaway challenge
Credit: GLRL/Shutterstock

There's a new social media challenge making the rounds on Facebook, and this one is seriously horrifying.

It's called the 48-Hour Challenge, and in order to participate, kids are urged to run away and cut off all contact from their friends and family for two days before suddenly re-emerging.

Can you even imagine? It's basically every parent's worst nightmare—your kid suddenly vanishes without a trace. And yet kids as young as 14 are reportedly participating in this thing, many in pairs and groups. Even worse: The "missing" kids score points every time their name is mentioned on social media. So twisted.

"This is a competition and it's sick," one mom of a child who took part in the 48-hour Challenge told Belfast Live. "The anxiety it left our family in is unspeakable. I was terrified they were dead or would be raped, trafficked or killed. But 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."

This is beyond disturbing. With so much tragedy in the world today, it's hard to believe kids would even want to participate in such a morbid undertaking, one that will put their loved ones through so much fear and pain. But they are. Which is why you need to sit down and have a serious chat with them about this challenge now. Let them know that it's not OK to participate in something like this, and that doing so could put them—and others—in serious danger.

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Hollee Actman Becker is a freelance writer, blogger, and mom of two who writes about parenting and pop culture. Check out her website for more, and then follow her on Instagram