FRESNO, Calif. — Parents are in a panic about a new challenge targeting kids. It’s called the Momo Challenge. In the challenge, Momo has been telling kids to do dangerous things — even to commit suicide.
Jeronimo Lozano keeps a close eye on his 10 year old son while he is online.
“Very nervous especially with all the challenges going on,” said Jeronimo Lozano, father.
Lozano said his son likes the Youtube Channel Moosecraft, for gaming tutorials but one day he saw Momo.
“It just popped up but caught him by surprise and scared him,” said Lozano.
Lozano said it was his son’s response to it that made him want to learn more.
“He started crying uncontrollably covered his eyes covered his ears. He covered his eyes because he didn’t want to hear the word Momo,” said Lozano.
Momo is the masked cartoon like character showing up in the middle of kids Youtube videos.
In some videos, Momo teaches kids how to do terrible things. Parents have reported that their kids turned the gas stove on without lighting it, asked about how to put a knife in a socket and asked about suicide because Momo told them to.
“I think kids are, I hate to say an easy target but they are on the media and they are impressionable and they learn by the things they are around,” said Dr. Amy Suplee, Pediatric Psychologist at Valley Children’s Hospital.
Dr. Amy Suplee a pediatric psychologist at Valley Children’s Hospital said whether Momo is a hoax or not this is a learning moment for parents.
“We really want children to feel comfortable to go about these things in their life, if an adult says hey I heard about these things or I want to talk to you about internet safety a child is more likely going to come to you,” said Dr. Amy Suplee.
Luckily Lozano said his son only saw the image of Momo, no further instructions. But when they tried to find Momo again his son was once again uneasy.
Now lozano said Momo has taught him to be more vigilant with his kids and their internet usage.
“We are watching as much as possible,” said Lozano.