Parents warned of ‘Blue Whale’ game and its dangers

Besides the rumors of a new suicide game, parents are urged to be on the look out for their children's online activities.

POLOKWANE – A warning has been issued by a trauma counsellor after the Blue Whale game recently surfaced in Gauteng, Pretoria East Rekord reports.

The warning followed after a Facebook post went viral by a mother in Johannesburg, who discovered her son had been playing the Blue Whale game.

Review spoke to Child Psychologist, Juanita Marx on the dangers of the new suicide game.

Experts dealing with the issues that teens struggles with say that the ‘Blue Whale’ game’s authenticity has not yet been proven but teen suicide is a real issue.

“There have been cases where teenagers wanting to commit suicide influenced others to do the same,” Juanita Marx said.

Blue Whale is a new online game targeting emotionally vulnerable teenagers, urging them to kill themselves.

Reports on the game shows that teenagers are targeted by the game as it is challenging and dares them to complete challenges to complete the game.

You may also want to read: A new online suicide game “may soon be available in SA”

Juanita gave some safety tips for parents when teenagers are online:

1. Have the technology talk:  No online application or setting can really keep teens safe online. This means that parents need to talk to their children about possible dangers and concerns when it comes to them being online.

2. Use parental settings wisely: When setting up parental control preferences, make sure to keep to them and specify when computers can and cannot be used.

3. Be friends with your children on social networks: Being a friend with your children on social media will help parents know what their children are up to online.

4. Be the holder of the password: Changing the wifi password for your home network and only giving it to children when they have earned it is a good start.

5. Be a good role model: Despite popular beliefs, teenagers do follow in their parents footsteps. This is why parents should always be the role models for their children when it comes to being active online.

The name of the game, ‘Blue Whale’ is believed to come from the way whales sometimes beach themselves (commit suicide).

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Riana Joubert

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