According to national suicide statistics released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the suicide rate among 10-14-year-old kids is on the rise. In fact, it doubled between 2007 and 2014.
According to the CDC, there were 425 suicides reported in 2014 by children aged 10-14, and suicide was the second leading cause of death for people under 25 years old.
According to experts, several factors account for the increase, but none more than social media.
Bullying greatly affects 10-14 year old kids, especially in the digital age where it’s everywhere. Texts, Twitter, Snapchat, Facebook and Youtube are just a few of the 24/7/365 conduits for bullies to spread hate and fear.
Another product of social media involves peer pressure. Dangerous dares and “games” children play can have deadly outcomes.
The Blue Whale Challenge, for instance, sets “players” up to attempt tasks that could be relatively unsafe, including things like self-mutilation.
Nationwide, the annual rate of suicide climbed from 0.9 to 2.1 suicides per 100,000 middle schoolers. Experts say there is no way to pin-point a cause or specific factor that lead to the the suicides, as often there are many factors involved.
Experts recommend that parents and teachers understand the warning signs, which can include:
- changes in feelings
- displays of distress
- a sense of hopelessness
- a change in appetite
- sleep loss
- lost interest in hobbies
- giving away favored possessions.
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