Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Kids taking cues from You Tube?
This morning we watched a video on You Tube that boggled my mind, and it turns out the minds of many others as well. Startling video of kids donning lacrosse and hockey helmets who proceeded to beat on each other until somebody went down. We came to find out that the goal was unconsciousness and the prize was bragging rights on You Tube.

At first blush, it may seem like children just goofing around, but it is much more serious than that. The brain, which is like a fluid medium, literally moves around in the skull from side to side possibly causing injuries and swelling (Watch animation). In addition, you can have shearing of tiny blood vessels deep in the brain which can be catastrophic. It is true that kids are resilient, more so than adults but it is during these formative years that the brain is that much more susceptible to injuries.

We also know more about head injuries than ever before. For example, while a concussion is bad, a second concussion is exponentially worse. We also know that a helmet can be protective, but it is the rotational injuries, where the head actually moves around, that can cause someone to lose consciousness. Also, in the long term - headaches, memory problems, dizziness, concentration problems and equilibrium problems could be a problem.

As a parent, I am constantly worrying about my kids and these videos just add to my concern. I know there are lots of extreme sports out there. What else have you seen and how do we protect our kids?
Hello Dr. Gupta,
It seems that as a society we have more violence associated with our youth apparently for the "rush".
I visit with many teens because they are always "hanging" at my house. Some of the things they tell me raise the hair on my neck.
One girl confided in me that she had been in counseling because everytime she had sex with her boyfriend he chocked her to unconsciousness!
One boy I know went to jail because he drove around with his friends shooting pet horses at night just for "fun".
I could tell you more horror stories but I think you get the picture.
Where are the parents to these kids and what is going on at home to make these kids so violent?
This is all sick and scary. Too often good kids get caught up in the violence even though they don't participate.
What can we do? My house has always been an open door with these kids. I am a second Mom to many. I love them and I want to see them grow into kind and caring adults.
Have you ever noticed how many people pay no attention to children or young people? I like young people and I always try to relate to them. It is amazing how they are needing the personal attention.
More people need to put forth an effort to talk to kids. Not just our own, but all kids that we come into contact with. You might be surprise at the response you get.
So many parents do not relate to children. I think this is a major problem. I have a friend who tells me every year that her favorite Christmas lights are the taillights of her children leaving her house! Where is the sense of family? Doesn't it just make you wonder why some people even have children in the first place? It makes me so sad.
I have always thought of my children as God's most sacred blessing he could bestow upon me.
I was in a restaurant not too long ago and a family with three small children were eating. The youngest, probably about two years old was restless. The Mother and Father kept shouting,"shut~up" and repeatedly slapped the child. Dr. Gupta, I just could not stand it any longer. I got up and walked over and expressed by concern. I was not very popular with them but they stopped. I also think it is important that children know that this is inappropriate behavior for the parents and that they don't deserve to be treated so harshly. Children need love!
It really does take a village, doesn't it?
Dear Dr. Gupta:

Your commentary on recreational helmet boxing was exactly on point. There are presently a number of clinical research studies which have obtained results indicating numerous subconcussive blows over time can result in measureable cognitive deficits. Further, animal research studies and clinical research studies with human participants, have found evidence for cumulative effects of concussive injury.
Recreational activities, such as helmet boxing, clearly need to be taken seriously. If the participant has a previous history of concussive injury he/she should be aware of the fact that they are at risk for a more serious closed head injury and thus more complicated postconcussion symptomatology. Parents and sports professionals can certainly benefit from awareness of these issues.

Joel Becker, Ph.D.
Clinical Neuropsychologist
Certified ImPACT Consultant
Director, Neurocognitive Diagnostic & Treatment Clinic, LLC
We live in a Jackass, UFC, WWF nation, where shows like this focus on stupid sensless violence, and we all go. . . "Way cool!" "AW dawg thas sick!" (sick here, meaning cool) I will except UFC and Bodog fights to an extent becaause they are organized sports. I will even admit to watching them w/ my husband. However, I am not going to take the easy way out and blame these shows. Why not? I'll tell you. Because television shows are not supposed to be be the the progenators of morals, ethics and common sense for our kids. WE ARE! It seems to me that we live in a hands off nation and that our attitude toward raising our kids is. . . "as long as they're not bothering me _____." I am a Girl Scout troop leader and have been a soccer coach, and it seems like parents use these activities more as glorified baby-sitting services than as enrichment. As, a former waitress I have seen it all. Parents will sit at the tables talking and ignoring there kids while the the kids do. . . you name it, I've seen it. One was standing at the dessert bar eating the candy straight from the bar w/ the serving spoons, another had his baby sister in the wheeled high-chair running hell-bent for leather thorugh the restaurant full of people, some are content just to run w/o endangering the well being of younger siblings. Where were the parents? At the table eating and talking, standing around talking, or in line at the buffet talking. Not w/ the kid! It doesn't matter thouhgh, there was one kid who stood right at the table crushing pack after pack of soda crackers into the carpet while the parents sat right there and. . . you guessed it. . .TALKED! And we wonder why our kids don't have sense enough not to stand around knocking each other out, drive up and down the road shooting horses and run around beating up homless and other disenfranchised peoples?
I wish adults would simply calm down. It's just helmet boxing! (Ot's also called helmets and gloves, or "foxy boxing" in some areas). It's not a big deal! It's not a new phenomenon either, it's been happening for years. It's a way for a person to proove themselves in the locker room or among their hockey buddies. I don't honestly think knocking the other person unconcious is the goal for most fights- at least, not what I've seen or heard of. (in general, most people do not want to hurt their team by knocking one of their teammates unconcious) It's just for fun, and for bragging rights. Most kids (at least, all that I've heard of) know to stop punching before the other fighter is knocked out. It's just kids being kids- I wish adults would stop trying to control everything kids and teens do. We're not that delicate.
-a teen
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