A new menace to US teens: aspirating blowgun darts

In a decidedly unexpected new menace to young internet users, medical professionals are warning about an uptick in injuries from aspirated blowgun darts.

In a paper published in the Pediatrics medical journal, a group of researchers described their encounter with a 15-year-old boy who had decided to construct his own blowgun using online instructions. The hapless boy was accompanied by two other similar aspiration cases, who like him were admitted to the hospital with coughing. 

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As the researchers note, the young victims were not always eager to confess: although "all ultimately admitted their behavior, two were initially reluctant to admit aspirating the blowgun dart," they wrote. 

"I find it concerning that this is becoming an emerging hazard," said study author D Kris Jatana to NBC of the research. "Typically we see these aspiration events in children younger than four."

Researchers said they found 20 different websites describing how to make these weapons, but none provided detailed safety instructions. 

"Certainly, prompt treatment can result in good outcomes; however, serious potential complications, including death, could occur especially given the hesitance our patients showed in divulging the truth of the inciting event," the doctors wrote in the paper abstract. 

A quick Google search reveals that instructions for making your own DIY blowgun are indeed rife on the internet — tempting enough for any youngster who harbors secret dreams of wandering the Amazon jungles in search of jaguars.

Needless to say, if you do decide to try the technique pictured in the below video by "AdventuresWest," remember not to breathe in.