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Teens in Danger
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When I was in high school, the most risky activity on campus was climbing the water tower at night. Pretty tame compared to what today’s teens are doing, isn’t it?

Today’s teens are involved in risky behaviors that are very dangerous—even life threatening. As parents, we need to be aware of what they are, and the potential harm they can do. Here are a few of the fads that have recently made the news.1

Skywalking: Without safety equipment, teens climb to the highest point of a building or structure, and then take a picture of themselves to show off. A fall is likely deadly.

Alcohol Enema: This gets alcohol into their system quickly. The risk of toxicity is increased because when taken by mouth, the stomach breaks down alcohol more slowly.

Car surfing: One teen stands on the hood or roof of a car in a surfing pose, while another drives. Head injuries from falling have occurred, as well as death from being run over.

Pill parties: Teens raid their parent’s medicine cabinet and bring whatever pills they find. They’re mixed together in a shot glass and taken all at once. Results can be seizures, respiratory problems, organ damage, and death. Taken with alcohol, the mix can be even more deadly.

Purple drank: Liquid cough syrup containing promethazine and codeine is mixed with Sprite, 7-up, or grape soda, and purple Jolly Ranchers. The combination slows a teen’s breathing and is believed to have caused at least one death.

Drinking hand sanitizer: Since it contains 60 percent alcohol, teens get a quick buzz. Even a small amount will get them drunk. More can lead to alcohol poisoning.

Salt and ice challenge: Salt is placed on wet skin, and then an ice cube is pressed on top to create frostbite. Second-degree burns with blistering can lead to infection.

Synthetic marijuana: Teens combine a wide variety of herbal mixtures containing psychoactive ingredients from various plants to get a high similar to marijuana.

Cinnamon challenge: The challenge (which is often videoed) is to swallow a teaspoon of cinnamon without any water. Because it’s easily inhaled, coughing, vomiting, irritation, infection, and permanent lung damage can occur.

Feeling overwhelmed as you read these? Me too. So what can we as parents do to make sure our teens aren’t participating in risky behaviors?

We must be vigilant. We need to know who our teens are with and what they’re doing. We need to keep the lines of communication open. We need to educate them about the dangers of these risky fads. We need to help them find safe but challenging activities to do. We need to offer to take them and their friends on adventures. We need to watch their behavior, and if something seems suspicious, deal with it immediately. And we need to pray—pray that God will guide us and protect them.

We can’t always be there for our teens, but when we are, we can give them our full attention and love.

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By Nancy Canwell. Copyright © 2013 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

1http://healthyliving.msn.co m/pregnancy-parenting/kids-health/10-most-dangerous-teen-fads

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