August 10, 2010
Parents: If your children have access to the Internet, you don’t want to miss this show. The latest trend popping up online is videos of teens who are attempting outrageous stunts and daring others to try even riskier versions, often with tragic results. Meet young adventure-seekers who say they’re proud of their death-defying activities, and hear about the gruesome and life-threatening injuries they’ve endured to gain notoriety.
Mike, 23, says he loves performing extreme stunts, and his dangerous activities have been viewed by millions online. Although his stunts, like doing a backflip off a vending machine, have landed him in the hospital, the young man says he wants to continue his risky lifestyle until he’s 35.
Seth, 18, also videotapes his stunts and uploads them to the Internet. One trick went so badly, he landed in the ICU. His mom, Tammy, says that he continues to perform the dangerous feats.
Troy, 21, started a website where members put up clips of their stunts and dare others to make their tricks more extreme and take them to the next level. The members earn points each time they accept a challenge.
Just Fun and Games?
Fourteen-year-old Tristen posts his stunts on websites. He says he has a large following of people who can’t get enough of his dangerous acts. His dad, Jim, says he doesn’t know how to stop Tristen from engaging in these activities.
Lucky to Be Alive
During a day off of school, Austin, 13, and his friends played a game using a ball and fire. He says his friends wanted to break a bone, but he was the one whose face was burned.
Fire kills about 500 children under 14 every year. Rob, a fireman and and paramedic, demonstrates how quickly fire can turn deadly and shares life-saving information.
“Moms, dads, we want teens to think about the consequences of their behavior. We want parents to understand that these websites may, in fact, encourage kids to try something dangerous. Know what your kids are looking at. If they’re watching stunts, watch it with them. Discuss it. Discuss the downside, discuss the effects of doing this,” Dr. Phil says. “Sometimes, they just think this is a way to be cool, and the consequences can be devastating. Have a talk with your teens about what it would mean to you if something tragic happened to them, and teach the difference between being brave and just being stupid. You can also keep your teen busy. Offer alternative ideas to your teen this summer. Get them involved in something. Get them started in volunteering. Set goals and rewards. Do something before it’s too late.”