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What is the 48 hour challenge, what have police said and how did it start?

The "contestants" are said to get a higher score for each time they are mentioned as missing by concerned friends or family on Facebook. Here is what we know so far.

What is the 48 hour challenge?

Children as young as 14 are reportedly being urged to run away and cut off all communication with loved ones for two days.

It appears to be a copycat version of the 'Game of 72' which circulated in Europe a few years ago, in which children were told to go missing for up to three days.

One County Derry mum told Belfast Live that her family was left with "unspeakable" anxiety from the "sick" competition.

She said her child, along with others, left the County Down and County Antrim areas and were found 55 hours later in Ballymena.

“I was terrified they were dead or would be raped, trafficked or killed," she said. 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."

Police have said that anyone caught participating in the sickening 'prank' will face charges.

"Whether it's a prank or not, we are going to use the same amount of resources," Officer Simon Drobik, of the Albuquerque Police Department told KMOV news.

The rise of Social media 'challenges'

This is not a new issue for parents, other dangerous 'games' have been cropping up on social media sites that have been responsible for putting children's lives at risk.

In October, we reported how teens were choking each other in a dangerous hide-and-seek game called Manhunt!

Authorities even released a stark warning about the game that sees kids choke each other when they are found.

The authorities say because of other online viral pranks including the 'Tide Pod Challenge' and the 'Bird Box Challenge' they have to take the latest threat seriously.

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