When we were younger, we used to play games of patintero or run around playing tag with our friends. Boy have times changed.
It is imperative that we, parents, keep up with the times.
I have been seeing videos online of really stupid games that kids worldwide are trying. When I say stupid, I mean really I-can’t-believe-people-are-trying-it stupid.
Some of these challenges are so dangerous they have caused serious damage, some permanent, or even death.
Why are children, teens especially, so willing to try things like this?
One, these games look or seem like fun. The reaction of the kids participating in the video are funny and they obviously did not get hurt as a result of it. The games then seem harmless.
Two, children, in groups, tend to give in to peer pressure and ignore any warning bells that are ringing in their heads about what they are being dared to do.
Three, most teens are unable to foresee the consequences of their actions due to their immaturity. That’s why it is our job as parents to “see around the corners” sometimes and help them see the dangers of these challenges.
I have put in an infographic of what I find are the more dangerous challenges for easy reference. However I will still list them below:
1. Charlie Charlie
In this game, children use a blank piece of paper and two pencils, which is very easy to get and therefore, easy to play. They then call on a demon or spirit to answer yes or no questions. The pencil then moves towards the answer on its own.
This is very similar to the Spirit of the Glass or Ouija game of our youth.
I personally feel it is very dangerous to call on anything we do not know or understand. The spiritual and emotional danger from playing this game is immeasurable.
2. Choking or Space Monkey Challenge
This is the most dangerous game in this list as it has already claimed plenty of lives worldwide and it has claimed lives even here in the Philippines.
In this game, challengers choke each other or choke themselves to the point of almost passing out. The act of being choked causes the body to produce adrenalin and at the point of release, the challengers feel extremely high.
Space Monkey is a variation of the Choking game where the challengers breathe in and out very quickly to hyperventilate before another person presses their airway. The effect of the choking comes quicker because of the act of hyperventilating.
It is too easy to go to far with this game and a lot of challengers have passed out or died as a result.
It is especially dangerous if kids who have tried it before with friends attempt it on their own by stringing themselves to doors or cabinets using belts.
3. Cinnamon Challenge
This is a seemingly harmless challenge where participants are supposed to swallow 1 tablespoon full of a regular kitchen spice, Cinnamon.
However, Cinnamon is extremely caustic. It dries out your mouth of all saliva immediately and can cause choking, throat irritation, breathing trouble and even collapsed lungs.
Kids dare each other to do it because the effect of the person choking and spitting out the cinnamon is very funny for the people watching. It is a very painful experience for the challenger.
4. Salt and Ice Challenge
Another game that uses very benign, seemingly harmless, things that are easy to find around the house. Challengers put a layer of salt on their skin and then hold ice over the salt-layered exposed skin.
On its own, salt and ice are harmless. Together it is a recipe for extreme pain and severe burns on your skin.
Why is it dangerous?
The salt causes the ice to lower its freezing temperature, and in the process absorbs heat from the participant’s skin as it melts. As a result, skin temperature drops far more than with ice alone. This can quickly cause second and third-degree injuries similar to frostbite.
5. Fire Challenge
I didn’t include this challenge in the infographic as most parents warn children about playing with fire but it’s still worth a mention.
Challengers are dared to pour rubbing alcohol on their bodies and set themselves on fire in the shower. They are supposed to douse the fire with water from the shower moments after they are ablaze.
I don’t need to explain why this is dangerous, do I?
Please warn your children about all of these games. They are prevalent on YouTube or Facebook and our ignorance, as parents, may be the only thing keeping them from being safe.
We don’t want our kids to be a statistic.