It seems like a kids have a nose for danger. No sooner has one new fad been dealt with, when two more rear up to take their place. As a parent or a concerned adult, it is hard to know where to look for the ways that they manage to endanger themselves. Here are the most dangerous health trends among teens in America.
The first thing I’d like to point out is that overall the more common ways that teens endanger themselves have been on the decline over the last few years. So there is less risk today than a few years ago that your child will come into contact with harmful health risks. At the same time, that doesn’t mean all the risk is gone.
That is why we have collected together some of the most worrisome trends out there so that you do not have to. Hopefully armed with this knowledge you’ll be in a better position to spot when your teen is doing something they shouldn’t be and engaging in risky behavior.
A lot of teens report vapping, with e-cigarettes the most common product among youth for the second year running. The reason why would appear to be the fact that there are many appealing flavors, with 81% of teens reporting that that was the reason they vaped.
The thing is, these flavors do actually often contain tobacco and nicotine and though these levels are much lower than with normal cigarettes, that does not mean that there is not a risk of addiction, which might lead to overuse of vapping or even increase the risk that teens will eventually switch over to actual cigarettes with all the risks thereof. We simply don’t know as vapping is too new for us to know the long-term health risks.
For that reason as of the 8th of August, flavored tobacco has also been banned in e-cigarettes.
You might have heard of these. They made headlines in 2011 when they were outlawed in Louisiana. Many other states have tried to follow suit, but unfortunately, as what is in them varies from time to time, that has turned out to be hard to do.
These supposed ‘bath salts’ are frequently sold in head shops and liquor stores. They often contain such substances as mephedrone and MDPV, which both can cause severe hallucinations when smoked, snorted or even injected.
The substance is thought to be highly addictive with some people demonstrating habit forming after only one use. Many teens falsely assume that because the substance is not illegal it must, therefore, be safe than other drugs. This would not seem to be the case. There is a definite risk of overdose and you should be aware of the associated symptoms so that you can get your kid to a hospital in time.
The choking game
In this case, people will choke each other for the high they get when the choke is released and the blood rushes back into their heads. The problem is that this can actually kill brain cells and even render people unconscious.
This is because the person doing the choking does not know when they’ve gone far enough, which can lead to them going too far. The risk of brain damage is real. Therefore, if you want to avoid your kid not being able to go to college, make sure they avoid this one.
Studies have shown that among youth athletes 40% are taking protein enhancements. This is not a good trend, as the taking of these supplements can lead to some serious effects. For example, it can lead to high blood acidity, which can lead to a decrease in bone strength, as well as the formation of kidney stones.
Another problem that can manifest is that the high amount of creatine that can actually be found in many of the supplements leads to the teen’s body to create creatine on its own, leading to dependency.
And this while there is almost no proof that it actually has benefits beyond what a young athlete would get if they would just eat a healthy and balanced diet. For that reason, if you child does use these kinds of enhancement, ask them to try exercising without them for a while, to see if he actually notices a difference. Chances are he won’t, if he’s honest about it.
And that will both help his health and save him a great deal of pocket money.
Yes, it sounds far-fetched, but it actually happens. In order for teens to avoid alcohol-breath, they instead poor the drink – usually vodka as it’s considered ‘cleaner’ into their eye. The eye is laden with a huge number of blood vessels, which very quickly absorb the alcohol, giving them an intense buzz.
They think it’s quick and efficient and therefore cheaper than absorbing it in a more ‘traditional’ sense – which is why many teens do it – but the consequences can be quite severe, as alcohol can actually burn the retina and the cornea, which can lead to actual sight loss and ultimately blindness.
Now that doesn’t sound like it’s worth the buzz, does it?
Of course, these are only the ones we know about. There might be a lot more risky behavior out there. Therefore, be sure to pay attention to what your child is doing. Do they constantly fall silent when you come within earshot? Do they not want to meet your eyes? These might be indicators that they’re doing something they shouldn’t be.
Even better, ask them. Particularly if you can avoid being judgmental (and yelling), your child might well feel inclined to talk to you before they are willing to engage in risky behavior. And that, obviously, would be a much better place for both you and your kid to be, then you having to find out the hard way – when something has gone wrong – that they’re engaging in activities that endanger their health and their future.
Dante Munnis is a content manager on essayrepublic.com. He is interested in self-development, web related topics and success issues. He shares ideas for students living a better life and building habits that stick. To get strategies for boosting your mental and physical performance. You can get in touch with Dan via Twitter.
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