The dangers of planking: teen trends that go too far

From illegal actions such as street racing and bungee jumping to acrobatic displays of skateboarding on the sidewalk; adolescents try out various activities, during their teenage.  Teens take part in such things for a number of reasons. Sometimes they do all this just to enjoy the thrill they get out of it. On other occasions they seek to make a statement through such actions. The planking fad that has gained popularity among teens is yet another example of adolescents trying to attract attention by indulging in dangerous acts.

The act of mimicking a wooden plank started off as a harmless fad. Due to the extensive use of social media, it has now become a worldwide phenomenon. The aim is to lie on the ground, face-down, in a bewildering place and then upload a picture or a video of it on Facebook or Youtube, for the world to see. Teens are aware of the fact that the shadier the location they choose, the more likely they are to get featured. Photos of teenagers planking on dangerous sights like rooftops, escalators and even on moving vehicles are becoming common on the internet. This is becoming a concern for parents.  Just recently, Acton Beale, a 20 year old, from Brisbane, Australia, died while attempting to plank from a balcony, seven stories high.

The fear of a serious injury or even death has little effect on these high spirited, adventure seeking teenagers. It is important for parents to educate their teens about the hazards of life threatening sports. Also, efforts should be made to channelize the energies of these kids in the right direction. Here’s what parents can do:

Teach by example

Acton Beale’s tragic death is not the only accident that made the news. Many teenagers have been seriously injured or hurt while planking.  Teenagers should be told about these incidents so that they are well aware of the dire consequences such actions can have. This might help you keep your teen away from activities involving high risk.

Sports & Hobbies

There is no denying the fact that with teenage comes an abundance of energy. With so much energy and a lack of target to focus it on, teens tend to follow the pack and take the wrong path. Parents can encourage their teens to take part in sports  and other activities which interest them. This will help channelize their energies into something constructive. It will, in turn, improve their mental and physical health, at the same time keeping them out of harms way.

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