Fake hangings. Playing with fire. Things we normally expect children to stay away from, but these dangerous pranks and stunts have sparked a deadly interest.

An 11 year old boy in the United States died while apparently trying imitate a hanging prank video he viewed online. The ‘joke’ was to have his mother walk in on the hanging, but the prank quickly became dangerous. The boy, hanging in his bedroom closet, stopped breathing, and his nearby siblings rushed to get help from their mother. Sadly, the boy’s family were not able to save him in time, and he died a short time later in hospital.

There has been steady a rise in YouTube videos that are dangerous and violent. This isn’t the only report of risky videos mimicked by children.

Another incident occurred earlier this year in the United States, where an 8 year old boy imitated a stunt involving fire. After rubbing hand sanitizer on his hands, the boy then had his brother set his hands alight so his hands would ‘glow’.

A quick search reveals several fake suicide hanging videos, with one of them receiving more than 10 million views.

Unfortunately, some of the sanitizer fell on the boy’s shirt, and the fire quickly spread. This was all featured in a YouTube stunt he watched earlier online, and the boy was left with second degree burns.

A quick search reveals several fake suicide hanging videos, with one of them receiving more than 10 million views.

Searching for the hand sanitizer stunt even reveals a video titled “How to light your hands on fire…Safely”, a video that gives step by step instructions on how to set alight to your hands.

Another playing with fire video has almost 3.5 million views. “The Duct Tape Challenge”, where people are covered in duct tape and have to free themselves, left a boy with 48 stiches in his head and is now blind in one eye.

These videos have started a discussion among parents. Facebook reveals one parent who believes that “It all goes back to internet safety and how responsible or mature the child is when watching things of that nature”. Another parent stated how “It falls on the parents to teach your children to know better and to keep an eye on them”.

While some pranks and stunts can be viewed as innocent, some of these users try to outdo one another. The crazier the prank, the more views they get.

Children are easily influenced, and these videos are alluring. They’re popular, controversial, and easy to imitate.

What’s stopping kids from trying out these hundreds and hundreds of prank and stunt videos at home?


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