(WYTV) – Viral internet challenges can be very popular, but pediatricians have a warning about them.
Take “the choking game” for example.
Psychiatrist Vanessa Jensen says children who have symptoms of depression, behavioral disorders or aggressive behaviors may want to try it.
“Teens and pre-teens who have some suicidal thoughts or thoughts of self-harm, in previous studies, have shown to be associated with individuals who have tried these games. Supposed games, such as this choking game, or other high-risk behaviors.”
In the very dangerous choking game challenge, children try to limit blood flow and oxygen to the brain to produce a “high.”
Jensen says 1 in 10 children between the ages of 9 and 16 have tried this game.
These games may be a way for some teenagers to play with the idea of suicide, so the most important thing parents can do is communicate with their kids.
Many kids won’t admit they’re doing anything risky so Jensen says to keep trying.