HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - The ‘Momo’ challenge caught two parents off guard.
They’d heard nothing about the viral challenge, and instead found their 6-year-old daughter watching a video associated with it.
“He heard my son saying, ‘You shouldn’t be watching that, that’s creepy,’" said Ashley, the mother of the 6-year-old who she said was playing on her Nintendo Switch at the time.
The Momo challenge, where a character referred to as Momo asks people to complete odd tasks and even go as far as harming themselves, made its way to an Horry County kindergartner, according to her parents, after it was sent to her from someone she goes to school with.
“She will ask you to do things and then it leads to you pretty much committing suicide and kids taking it into their own hands to harm themselves,” said her mother.
Ashley looked further into what this challenge was and what she found from her research was mortifying. She said she didn’t get any sleep at all Tuesday night because she was wide awake thinking about what could have happened to her kids.
“Honestly just it freaks you out when you’ve got such young kids with these evil people on the other end. You know they don’t know any better," said Ashley.
“I dropped everything to start communicating, to start communicating with my daughter, son in law, others in the family that have young kids," said the little girl’s grandfather, Ernie Toth.
Toth, who is Ashley’s father, said communicating with children and family members about what children could be exposed to is important. It’s a piece of advice he hopes other families take from this incident.
“I just told them, you know there are bad people in this world unfortunately and you have to be careful," said Ashley.
“Parents need to spend time with their kids - quality time - to understand what they’re watching and to make sure they’re watching the good stuff," said Toth.
Sara Lacaria is a local guidance counselor. She said it’s important to be honest with your children and at an age-appropriate level, explain what is going on in a particular situation and why.
She also recommends having parental controls on your child’s devices and use certain applications that allow you to monitor what your child is using.