Parents Beware: 10 Stupid Things Your Kid Might Try Over Summer Break
By: Christine Hammond, LMHC
Just compiling this list of stupid things your kid might do over summer break was enough to drive me, as a parent, into a massive anxiety attack. After all, summer break should be about camps, swimming, going to the beach, parks, and hanging out with friends. Unfortunately the combination of unsupervised kids, the internet and time to burn can be a deadly one.
After the shock of my anxiety attack died down, this list is meant to get your attention, as a parent, and perhaps to wake you up to the possibilities of immature behavior that goes way beyond the fears of social media, bullying, internet pornography, and gambling. Unfortunately each of these items is very easy to research on the internet and some even have YouTube videos explaining how it works.
1. Choking Game, Pass-Out Game, Fainting Game, Space Monkey. This is self-administered or friend-administered - choking to the point of losing consciousness in order to achieving a high. Every time your kid does this, they literally lose brain cells that can never be regenerated and some have even died from it.
2. Huffing, Sniffing, Dusting, Bagging. This is sniffing inhalants found in common household products such as bug spray, room deodorizers, and glue. The poisonous chemicals are sprayed into a rag, inhaled directly from the container or sprayed into a bag placed over your kid’s head creating a high when inhaled. Numerous cases of permanent brain damage have been reported.
3. Drinking bleach. There are many false rumors on the internet that drinking bleach will help your child to pass a drug test or that it is an effective way to commit suicide. Rather, your kid is likely to end up in the emergency room with severe intestinal, stomach, and esophagus damage.
4. Sexting, Rounds, Nude Pictures. The idea of rounds is that you start small such as sending a picture of bare skin to another kid and they in return send another one back with each one escalating the previous picture. Sexting and nude pictures are commonly done with iPods, iPads or cell phones.
5. Boozy Bears, Drunken Gummies, Rummy Bears. Gummy bears are soaked in rum or vodka and then eaten in order to get drunk. The worst part is that the gummy bears look normal after they have absorbed the alcohol so it is difficult to detect.
6. Eyeball Shots, Eyeballing. Kids put vodka directly into their eyes in order to get drunk and avoid the alcohol smell on their breath. Many kids have found that this leads to blindness instead.
7. Butt Chugging, Vodka Tampons. Frightening but true, another way kids get drunk is by soaking tampons in vodka and then inserting them into the rectum.
8. Skittle Parties, Pill Parties. Kids raid parents, grandparents, and friend’s parent’s medicine cabinets looking for prescription drugs. Typically they only take a couple of pills as not to be noticed and then place all of the pills gathered into a bowl. Then the kids roll some dice and take the number of pills which match the number on the dice. The pills are taken randomly so no one knows what effect it will have after being ingested.
9. Purple Drink, Purple Jelly, Texas Tea. Made popular by several RAP songs, this is a drink combination of Jolly Ranchers, Sprite, and liquid codeine cough medicine. The concoction produces hallucinations, unresponsiveness and lethargy.
10. Car Surfing, Ghost Riding, Urban Surfing. Kids stand in a surfing position on the top of a car, hood or trunk while the car is in motion with speeds as high as 55m.p.h. The driver is usually a teenager who is inexperienced in handling vehicles. Teens are two to three times more likely to be involved in a fatal car accident compared to experienced drivers.
It is truly shocking to learn the stupid things kids will do because someone told them it would be a good idea. Lest you believe that these are just the older high school kids doing such acts, several articles indicate that kids as young as 10 are engaging in these behaviors.
Now that you are warned about the latest in stupid things kids do, it is your job to educate your child and remove dangerous items from your house. Prescription medication, alcohol, and dangerous household chemicals should all be locked up not just for your kid’s safety but the safety of their friends who come over. Talk to your kids about choking, car surfing, sexting and bagging; more than likely they already know of someone who has tried at least one of these items.
This is not the time to bury your head in the sand, naively believe that your child would never do one of these things, or minimize the risks by justifying your own poor choices as a kid. Instead, be aware, communicate, and educate so your kid won’t become a negative statistic.
To schedule an appointment with Christine Hammond, please call our office at 407-647-7005 or visit our website at www.lifeworksgroup.org.