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3 of the Most Dangerous Internet Challenges
Youth are unpredictable and often put themselves into crazy situations on a dare. Sometimes teens do things that leave us shaking our heads and wondering how they could do something so stupid. Though legally they’re close to being adults, their frontal cortex – which is the centre for thinking and reasoning – won’t be fully developed until they’re years into adulthood. Teens today have constant access to the internet, and while this has many benefits, it also has some grave consequences. This constant stream (mis)information coupled with their impulsiveness can put them in very dangerous situations. Internet “challenges” dare teens to try crazy and sometimes harmful things – just for the shock value and a few likes on social media.
Here are the top 3 most dangerous challenges to be aware of:
1: The Hot Water Challenge.
If you search this challenge on YouTube, you’ll find thousands of results. The most popular video claims to be a test to see if the body will adjust to the temperature as the water heats up. Naturally, the body cannot, and the person eventually has to pull away from the water. Earlier this month, an 11-year-old girl in New York was hospitalized after “friend” poured boiling water on her while she was sleeping. Similar instances include an 8-year-old girl who died after being dared to drink boiling water through a straw and a 10-year-old boy who underwent multiple surgeries and weeks of hospitalization after doing the hot water challenge with his stepbrother.
2: Car surfing.
This challenge is quite self-explanatory, but that doesn’t mean it makes sense. Car surfing is where you ride on the outside of a moving vehicle. This joyride has turned into many teens’ last ride. The danger seems obvious as the risk of falling is very high. One teen survived the ride, only to be thrown from the car when it stopped, he died the next day. Another teen knows that he is lucky to be alive. He fell off a friend’s car during a car surfing challenge. The fall caused an injury that forced the doctors to remove part of his skull and place him in a medically induced coma for a month.
3. Fire Challenge.
In this challenge, participants coat themselves in a flammable liquid and set themselves on fire. The effects of this challenge are not shown in the videos uploaded to YouTube because participants never keep the camera running for long. However, if someone is lighting themselves on fire, it can be expected that burns will occur. Last year, a 12-year-old boy from Queens participated in the challenge. He doused himself in rubbing alcohol and lit himself on fire in his home bathroom. He ended up running from his home while still on fire and his neighbours helped to extinguish him. He suffered 3rd-degree burns over 40% of his body and was left fighting for his life. Another teen was just 15 when he participated in the challenge and was burned to death when the flames could not be extinguished.
Parents are urged to speak to their children about these challenges. Whether they’re 8 or 18, kids need to know what dangerous situations in which they’re getting involved. Why would kids even want to participate in challenges like this? When teens engage in this kind of reckless behaviour, it can be seen as a cry for attention. To have it filmed and posted on the internet is to create hype and to be known. Everybody wants to be known – even if it means putting their lives at risk – but it’s never worth it.