MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — Myrtle Beach police are warning parents about a new potentially dangerous TikTok trend circulating on social media.  

It’s called the “Orbeez challenge,” and kids use replica guns to shoot people with Orbeez pellets — toy gel beads that grow in water.

The issue is bigger than just shooting someone with the Orbeez, police said.

“People can misinterpret them or miss identify them as a real gun,” Timothy Munday, a school resource officer at Myrtle Beach Middle School, said.

Myrtle Beach police said there have been incidents reported in which juveniles have shot replica guns loaded with gel beads at people and places.

“There has been a recent TikTok trend of kids or adults doing drive-by’s in their car and shooting at people or places,” Munday said.

The department said it has only seen a few of these incidents but stressed that even though toy guns are not considered a deadly weapon, firing Orbeez at people is a crime. 

“When it comes to actually shooting projectiles at somebody, they do cause welts if it hits you in the face or the eyes,” Munday said. “It can cause major injuries, so you may look at an assault there. If you bring them on the school grounds, we can interpret them as weapons.”

Toy guns are meant to have something like an orange tip on them to indicate that they’re fake, but some people paint over that to make the gun look less like a toy and more like a weapon.

“When you change the color, the body still resembles either an AR-type of gun, a handgun, or an MP5,” Munday said. “When you paint them or get them ordered in different colors, it could elevate it into such a more dangerous situation than just holding onto a toy.”

Munday said to keep things from escalating into a more dangerous incident, the guns should be used in a safe environment and they should never be pointed at anyone or anything.