Kids Imitating YouTube Daredevils

YouTube gets a facelift as the company tries to rid the page of cluttter. CBS

Two billion YouTube clips are watched on a daily basis. And while it may be fun to send the latest viral video to your friends, some experts fear these video sharing sites are potentially hazardous for kids.

CBS News correspondent Betty Nguyen reported YouTube daredevil stunts may be entertaining to watch, but they're dangerous, and doctors say they're inspiring a growing number of copycats who want to post their own videos.

Dr. Hani Mansour, burn specialist at St. Barnabas Medical Center in New Jersey, says stunts have increased injuries four-fold.

Nguyen said that increase is a concern because the injuries he sees from kids trying to pull off these outrageous acts can be quite severe.

Mansour said, "They usually have their face and their hands that are burned, so there is disfigurement and there is loss of function."

Ryan Gooding, 10, of Florida, suffered a fractured nose, second-degree chemical burns and needed reconstructive surgery after he tried to copy a YouTube video of an experiment that mixed vinegar and baking soda.

Gooding told CBS News, "My friend made in it the kitchen, we went outside, I threw it and it blew up in my face."

Nguyen showed how quickly one can find these types of videos online. The term "fire tricks," she pointed out, leads to over 5,000 dangerous demos.

Nguyen actually found a video in which a man teaches people how to swallow flames.

While Dr. Mansour was quick to point out that teens have always flirted with danger, he says it now seems they are upping the stakes all in the name of Internet glory.

Sonya Gooding, Ryan's Mother told Nguyen, "It broke my heart into pieces that something like this could happen. Maybe that wouldn't have happened if we had more control of what they were finding on YouTube."

"Early Show" contributor and child psychologist Dr. Jennifer Hartstein discussed why kids like to imitate these videos and how parents can curb the behavior.


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