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Kids who dare scare parents; Healthy YOU.

Byline: Antonia Paget

PARENTS are being warned about the latest playground craze after a boy nearly died.

Freddie Webster, 12, swallowed four 3mm magnetic ball bearings after putting them in his mouth and trying to hold them in place with another on his cheek.

The potentially deadly game, designed to mimic the sensation of piercings, uses bearings costing as little as PS2.99. Surgeons had to remove four inches of the boy's bowel to get them out.

Freddie, of Driffield, East Yorks, spent more than a week in hospital.

Now parents are being advised to discuss these crazes with their kids rather than simply telling them off.

Cognitive behavioural psychotherapist Peter Klein said children tend to be impulsive and devise games to create a sense of belonging, without thinking about the consequences.

The counsellor, who works at the Priory Hospital Roehampton, South West London, said: "The rituals can be risky - the riskier the playground craze, the more admiration a child will get from their peers who'll push children to go further and further."

Mr Klein, who runs his own private practice, said: "Simply telling children off can sometimes make it more likely that children will engage in those crazes as it fosters an 'us vs them attitude'."

Here are some of the dangerous games to have gripped schools causing injury: Sweep Them off Their Feet In this prank, pupils use their uniform's ties and knot them around another child's ankle before pulling their feet from underneath them, leaving their victim lying flat on their face.

Pupils have broken bones and sustained injuries needing hospital treatment. The craze left Ellanneh Smith, 13, of Croydon, Surrey, with a broken arm and needing surgery last year.

Salt and Ice This phenomenon swept the net in 2013 with pictures posted of kids pouring salt on their bodies and putting ice on top to cause a burning sensation. Participants tried to withstand the longest.

Children were left with open sores and second or third degree burns, similar to frostbite. The ice and salt mix meant temperatures could drop to -18C.

Tide Pods The current US craze sees youngsters swallowing colourful detergent pods, which contain highly poisonous chemicals that cause vomiting, diarrhoea and, at worst, death if ingested. Fortunately Tide Pods are not available in our shops. 99er Using fingernails, a rubber or, in extreme cases, a compass point, to scratch the same point on the back of the hand 99 times. The skin would break leaving a wound which could become infected.

The eraser challenge Children were encouraged to rub an eraser into their skin, while reciting the alphabet, until it's red raw or even leaves a gaping wound. The child then posts images of their injuries on social media and the worst one "wins".

In 2015, a 13-year-old boy in the US contracted toxic shock syndrome after doing the dare. The deodorant challenge Teens posted videos of themselves spraying deodorant cans against their skin for as long as possible. But their actions risked serious burns and life-long scars, which is what happened to Cornish schoolgirl, aged 12.

CAPTION(S):

ON THE MEND: Freddie in hospital and an X-ray of his insides

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The People (London, England)
Date:Feb 25, 2018
Words:527
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