Challenges That Could Send Teens To The ER

Ah, teens. They think they’re bullet proof and are up for just about anything. The newest challenge facing teens are Internet challenges, which can literally send teens to the ER.

While teens today may look more like adults, developmentally they’re not there yet—especially the frontal cortex, the area of the brain that is responsible for reasoning and thinking. Because teens don’t have the experience or critical thinking skills necessary to tell them that something they see on the Internet is a bad idea, they can leap to a “challenge.” Here are just a few examples of recent Internet challenges:

  • Duct Tape Challenge: A teen is duct taped to a pole and the goal is to break free from the duct tape. One 14-year old was duct taped standing up, and when he broke free, he fell, crushing his eye socket and pinching off nerves in his eye. He was lucky to survive the incident.
  • Cinnamon Challenge: Teens are encouraged to swallow a spoonful of cinnamon in 60 seconds without taking a drink of water. Because cinnamon is caustic, it can cause throat and respiratory conditions, including choking or a collapsed lung.
  • Car surfing: Car surfing is when a teen “surfs” on the hood, roof or bumper of a vehicle. And yes, multiple teens have died doing it.
  • Salt and Ice: A teen has to pour salt in their hand, add some ice cubes and see how long they can hold them together in a fist. Whoever holds it the longest wins. This can result in second and third degree burns that are pretty gruesome.
  • Trunking: In some states, teens are not allowed to have another teens in the car while they are driving. To avoid this “rule”, some teens put their friends in the trunk of their car. This can be deadly in the event of an accident.

Every generation has succumbed to not-so-bright ideas. But with the Internet, these “ideas” or challenges can spread like wildfire. It’s a good idea to have a conversation with your teen about Internet challenges, and the importance of doing research before instantly rising to the “challenge,” so to speak.