Teen Trends: 15 Dangerous Fads Parents Need To Know

Teens will be teens… but how far is too far?

It wasn’t that long ago I was wearing buttoned-up paisley blouses and listening to Nirvana CDs on repeat. Although high school was 20 years ago for me, I can still remember what the ‘bad kids’ were doing at lunch break.

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But nowadays, with advanced technology telling our youth the quickest ways to get high, the coolest trends in sex, and everything else in between, many kids spend time surfing the net for boredom busters that can often turn dangerous.

The recent death of 18-year-old Brady Grattan due to a game of peer pong has many parents worried. Not to mention the devastating deaths of 17-year-old twin brothers Evan and Jordan Caldwell after sliding down the luge-bobsled track at a Calgary ski hill where they had both worked last winter season.

Seems like it’s time to pay attention to these risky new teen trends.


Long gone are the days of simply lighting your farts on fire while watching Top Gun in your parents’ basement. Now, there are some growing teen trends that can cause serious injury or even death. From snorting condoms, to drinking hand sanitizer, to planking on mall escalators, let’s take a look at 15 teen fads that parents need to know about.

1. Smoking alcohol.

These days, it’s not just about guzzling a 2 L of Rockaberry Cooler with a group of pals. According to TODAY, the dangerous new way that teens are getting drunk is by snorting alcohol. This fad, that is trending on YouTube, shows teens inhaling vaporized alcohol that is pumped into a bottle. The fumes are then inhaled into the lungs which travels directly to the brain for instant intoxication. Doctors warm that vaporizing booze can often lead to alcohol poisoning.

2. Condom snorting.

Having the condom talk with your kids is tough enough. But according to new reports, the other condom talk is another must-have conversation. According to the Huffington Post, snorting condoms has become a bit of a YouTube phenomenon. Teens are snorting condoms up their nose and then pulling them out of their mouths. Why would anyone in their right mind do this? The goal is to complete this challenge without choking to death.

MORE: 10 Must-Have Conversations Between Parent & Child

3. Google Earth pool crashing.

Just when you thought you’d heard it all, there’s a new online trend that will make you feel very old. Thanks to online geo-mapping, teens are searching Google Earth to locate homes with swimming pools in their neighborhoods. With the convenience of texting and Facebook timelines, kids are able to invite their friends and have impromptu pool parties when home owners seem to be out of town. One can only imagine the safety issues with this new fad.

4. Rainbow parties.

Peer pressure can be fierce. And when your daughter’s friends are taking part in the latest sex parties, she might feel like this new trend is normal and even fun. At rainbow parties a group of girls, each wearing a different shade of lipstick, perform oral sex on one or more boys. When the last girl is done, the boy(s) has a newly decorated and colorful ‘member.’ Needless to say, the risk of STDs and a tarnished reputation can easily follow suit with a trend like this.

MORE: How To Talk To Your Daughter About Her Body

5. Cinnamon challenge.

Eating stupid things has been a fun challenge for teens over the centuries. But the latest fad, the cinnamon challenge, has teens consuming a tablespoon of cinnamon with no water, and then seeing what happens. While this might seem tame, it has caused choking, vomiting and even pneumonia if you inhale the cinnamon. As well, the spice contains coumarin which can cause liver damage. Teens who want to try this trend should watch this YouTube video of a woman screaming and gaging in pain after taking the challenge.

6. Salt and ice challenge.

Rubbing salt into a wound warrants wincing from even the toughest of teens. But a new viral trend including salt and ice challenges kids to push through the pain, causing some serious burns. The salt and ice challenge involves wetting the skin, pouring table salt on top, then pushing it down with an ice cube until you can no longer take the pain. According to the Pittsburg Post-Gazette, a 12-year-old boy sustained a second-degree cold injury (similar to frost bite) from this challenge.

7. Drinking hand sanitizer.

When teens are looking for a cheap high, they don’t have to look too long online to discover that drinking hand sanitizer is the newest trend. According to the Los Angeles Times, kids are getting drunk off the over-the-counter cleanser with most formulas contain 62 percent ethyl alcohol. Reports of medical intervention after a few drinks have caused concern for parents everywhere.

8. Choking on blowgun darts.

Thanks to the convenience of the World Wide Web, teens are learning how to easily construct their own blowguns. There have been three cases of young boys accidentally swallowing darts from the blowgun. As such, in order to use the blowgun, you must place it in your mouth, take a deep inhale, then forcefully exhale to propel the dart.

9. Chubby Bunny marshmallow game.

Here’s an idea that sounds silly and tame, but has turned fatal for some teens. The challenge is to shove as many marshmallows into your mouth, then say the words “chubby bunny.” This YouTube user has received over 2.5 million views for this challenge, but there have been several cases of choking deaths from this game.

MORE: Teen Trends: The New Sexting Apps Parents Need To Know

10. Planking.

In a new viral trend, teens are posting funny shots via social media of themselves planking (lying face-down) on lawns, tree branches and other random places. But some kids are taking it one step further, and planking on dangerous places such as mall escalators and rooftops. According to CNN, a 20-year-old Australian man recently fell to his death attempting this new online phenomenon.

11. Car surfing.

Car surfing has been around for decades, but this dangerous and illegal trend is back in the news. According to TODAY, a 16-year-old Florida teen was attempting to ride on top of a friend’s car and fell off, resulting in a catastrophic brain injury.

12. Vodka eyeballing.

Keep an eye on this new trend, parents. According to New York Daily News, a new drinking game involves pouring a shot of vodka into your eye which gives a quick buzz when the alcohol enters the bloodstream through the veins in the back of the eye. Doctors are concerned about long-term damage to the eye.

13. Purple drank.

Thanks to a growing number of rappers, R&B stars and pro athletes, purple drank has become a viral sensation. This drink is a legal, yet lethal, concoction of Sprite, Jolly Ranchers and codeine cough syrup. There’s even new music for ‘leaners’ to listen to while experiencing the effects of the drink: unresponsiveness, lethargy, hallucination and slow-mo zombie feelings.

MORE: What Can We Learn From Cory Monteith’s Death?

14. Trunking.

We’ve seen teens riding in the trunk since the days of Grease. But nowadays with laws prohibiting driving with passengers when teens first get their license, a growing number of kids are catching a lift in the trunk. Several cases of injury and death of teens trunking have been reported over the years.

15. Smoking Smarties.

Thanks to YouTube, there are easy-to-follow tutorials for teens to learn how to smoke Smarties. Yes, those delicious candy-coated chocolate treats are now being used to re-enact smoking. Kids are crushing up the candies and inhaling the dust. While the practice is not dangerous (except for when the dust has blogged nasal passages), mimicking the act of smoking should cause concern for parents.

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