More Than Child’s Play: Dangerous Games
Young people are inclined to take risks and push the envelope when it comes to daredevil activities. Stories recalled from the childhood of one woman, told by her father, were about his history of jumping on and off moving trains and swimming in reservoirs with his buddies. He shrugged them off as normal behavior when he knew his mother would be horrified if she ever found out. Tame stuff when compared to the games teens are engaged in today.
A warning was posted on the Facebook page of a mother of a middle school boy, after receiving a letter from the school, letting parents know that children as young as her son were involved in hazardous and potentially deadly activities. She was stunned and felt a need to let other parents know what their own children might be doing.
Some of these present day perils are highlighted in an article, called “12 Dangerous Games Your Children Might Play” by Ronald Agrella. They include:
This game involves strangulation by using a noose or strap to cut off the oxygen supply to the brain and create a high. A CDC study into 82 reported choking game deaths found those who died ranged in age from 6 to 19, with the average age being 13 years old. Almost all of those who died were playing alone. Most of the parents (93 percent) were unaware that the game existed, according to the CDC.
This game made headlines after being seen on YouTube and was the subject of a segment on Mythbusters, a Discovery Channel series that uses science to test popular myths and rumors. Someone swallows a teaspoon full of cinnamon, which immediately dries out the mouth. The painful effects may include violent coughing and vomiting. The cinnamon can also enter the lungs and require respirator-breathing support.
A kid chugs a full bottle of cough syrup. The syrup produces a high induced from the chemical DXM (dextromethorphan), which in large doses can produce hallucinations and can kill in excessive amounts. More than one in 10 teens has used over-the-counter cough or cold medicines to get high, according to the Drug Enforcement Agency.
In this game, a child drinks a gallon of water or milk within a one-hour period. The human stomach can’t handle this volume, so the person becomes violently ill, vomits and may suffer diarrhea and cramps.
Why Do Teens Play Russian Roulette with Their Lives?
- There is a sense of invulnerability and invincibility.
- They want to escape boredom.
- They experience peer pressure
- They see some of these activities in movies or on television
- Some experience depression and have a desire to end their lives
- They may be in denial of potential negative consequences
- They discount the ‘horror stories’ told by well- meaning adults
- They are straddling the line between childhood and adulthood and not firmly in either realm.
- They desire independence and fear it simultaneously.
- They may experience emotional dysregulation.
One in four teens has misused a prescription drug at least once in their lifetime, according to survey results from the partnership at Drugfree.org and the MetLife Foundation.