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13-year-old Ohio boy dies after attempting the TikTok "Benadryl Challenge," his parents say

The parents of a 13-year-old boy who died doing the TikTok "Benadryl Challenge" are warning other parents about the dangerous social media trend. 

Jacob Stevens died after nearly a week on a ventilator after consuming 12 to 14 pills of the over-the-counter antihistamine in an attempt to induce hallucinations, his family told

Jacob's father, Justin Stevens, told ABC6 that Jacob and his friends were filming him as he attempted the social media challenge when his body began seizing. 

"When he did it all came at once and it was too much for his body," he said.

After six days on a ventilator, Jacob died; a moment his grieving father called "the worst day of his life."

The tragedy has inspired Jacob's family to warn other parents to monitor their children's online activity to avoid anyone else attempting the challenge. His father has also contacted local lawmakers about enacting an age restriction on buying medicine like Benadryl.

The Food and Drug Administration has raised the alarm about overdoses tied to the "Benadryl Challenge" on TikTok for years. 

Benadryl contains diphenhydramine, an antihistamine that temporarily relieves symptoms caused by hay fever, upper respiratory allergies or the common cold, such as a runny nose and sneezing. According to the FDA, diphenhydramine is safe and effective when used as recommended, but higher doses can cause serious heart troubles, seizures, coma or even death. 

The Johnson & Johnson unit that makes Benadryl cautioned on its website that this "is a dangerous trend and should be stopped immediately."

Both the company and FDA have advised adults to keep it and other medications out of the reach of children.

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