"Kids do the darndest things" is the understatement of the century, which is why I recently asked the BuzzFeed Community to share the most dangerous things they did as children that horrifies them now as adults:
1."Playing with guns. We had access to my parents' guns from an early age. Once, I nearly shot my brother. I'll never forget that bullet whizzing by his head. One of us had the sense to stop messing around, and I haven't touched a gun since my time in the military over 35 years ago."
2."In middle school, I had a friend that showed us the 'pass out game.' She'd press on the carotid artery to make us pass out for, like, 15 seconds. I only tried it, like, twice, but the friend did it multiple times over the course of a couple months. So scary looking back on it!"
3."Only did it once, and thankfully, nobody got hurt. My two younger siblings and I climbed out the bedroom window and across the gap to the balcony outside our dad's room. Twenty-second floor."
4."I was born and raised in the US, but my family emigrated from a place that was in the midst of a civil war. We went back for my aunt's wedding the summer I turned 12, and my cousin and I snuck out after a citywide curfew for the thrill."
"On our way back from sneaking around, we heard gunfire and had to jump someone's 10-foot wall and hide. We had to stay there all night, and when we finally left to walk back to his house, there were bullets embedded in the walls, and casings and blood all over the road the whole walk home. We snuck in, and no one knew we were gone. Twenty-five years later, I am still more scared of telling my parents than I was of getting shot that night."
5."When I was a kid, we had a house in the neighborhood that had burned down to the foundation a few years back. All the kids in the neighborhood played there. We roller skated on the foundation. We built forts with the debris left behind. I vividly remember roller skating over broken glass."
6."As a young teenager, my friends and I would break into the local private club late at night, get wasted, and then climb up the fire escape to the roof and jump off three stories into the pool. Can’t believe we all made it out alive."
7."My brothers and I would take turns being dragged on our stomachs from the back of my dad's snowmobile while another one of us did donuts with it on the frozen lake. My dad let us do a lot of stupid shit when my mom wasn't around. Good times LOL."
8."I’d regularly jump out a second floor window to sneak out at night. To be exact, I’d crawl/wiggle out the tiny bathroom window, dangle by my arms from the second floor roof and let myself drop to the ground, then sprint away from my house, slightly injured, all to go smoke pot in a park with friends."
9."When I was little, I grabbed a fork and inserted it in a cable plugger."
10."Sticking your tongue out while the fan was rotating. So dangerous and stupid, in equal measure!"
11."Running up and down bleachers in the local arena. Almost fell backward off the top once. That's, like, an 8-foot drop onto concrete."
12."When I was kid, in my neighborhood, it was common for adults to pay random neighborhood kids for small tasks. I remember my dad getting all the kids on my street to hack weeds in the backyard together. He paid us in Shasta Tiki Punch, and no one thought it was weird."
"I participated in many random tasks for other neighbors as well, like clearing out junk, taking away cans to recycle, etc. Nowadays, it sounds crazy, an adult asking a random kid for favors inside their house in exchange for candy. Nothing bad ever happened, but it's wild to me that it's something that used to be without second thought."
13."Snorting Pixy Stix."
14."Growing up in the woodsy area of New York, me and my friend would ride our bikes for hours on the weekends. We would always ride to the very top of our long hill, line up in the middle of the road, put both of our feet up on the bar, and just glide down to the bottom. I don’t know how we never got hurt!"
15."I will never again turn a giant glass jar on its side and try to do a barrel roll. I'm the reason shows say not to try this at home. But in my defense, I was successful on the carpet using a chair for balance. Things, kind of, fell through, haha, when I tried to do it on the kitchen linoleum. I did win 187 stitches down the outside of my thigh and, like, 10 on the inside of my wrist. I do love the shock on doctors' faces when they finally realize I'm not lying about how the scar on my wrist got there. Not self-injury guys, self-stupidity."
16."As a 6-year-old first-grader, I lived in Florida in an interesting part of town. There weren’t many kids to play with, so when there was was one, I did my best to keep up. My new friend in the neighborhood had quite the daredevil streak and would jump off of his second story walkway, jump up from the ground, and climb the stairs to do it again."
"He invited me to join him, and wanting to strengthen the friendship, as scary as it seemed, I jumped. I only did it once, and knew it would never happen again, friendship be damned. I didn’t get hurt, and nothing was broken, but it was nothing but terror the whole way down. Thirty years later, I still feel the same way."
17."As I lived at the beach, exploring the beach was my main pastime for several years — that is all sand dunes, parks, toilet blocks. You name it, I climbed it, checked it, pondered it. At about age 7, I would climb up storm drains with my younger brother and climb under jetties barely with enough space for my body. I had a thing for exploring small spaces and climbing onto roofs of buildings and jumping off. I think it probably was an extension of my infatuation with superheroes from about age 4. It stopped pretty much after that."
18."As a teenager, when it would snow, my friends and I would go 'car sledding.' We'd tie a rope to the tow hitch of someone's truck and hold the other end while sitting on a cardboard box or an inflatable pool toy. We'd have them drive all around the neighborhood while sledding behind the truck. I don't know how we didn't hit any of the brick mailboxes or slam our head into a curb when we'd wipe out."
19."When I was 11, the house we lived in had a 25-ft. flagpole. I liked to climb to the top as a challenge. My mother was terrified, but apparently not enough to tell me to cut it out."
20."I always went to school by bike. On the way home, there was a very steep road. And I just raced downhill and crossed the intersection without hitting the breaks or even looking. Always assumed there would be no car crossing. I'm still here so it worked. The one time I hit the break was in winter, and I didn't see the frozen ground in the shade. I fell and knocked out my teeth."
21."When I was very little, I would walk on ice because I thought it was cool sliding around on it like an ice skater (dumb, I know). To make matters worse, I would run on the icy sidewalks because I was excited to go to school and wasn’t aware of my surroundings enough. My parents kept reminding me to be careful, and eventually saw the consequences of my actions. I slipped on the ice, and although I wasn’t badly injured, I was cautious to never do it again. To this day, I either avoid ice on sidewalks, or if I have to, walk VERY slowly."
22."In elementary school, I had a strict policy against using the bathroom at school. I usually got there early, and I was in the after-school program. I typically got there at 8 and left around 6. That’s hours and hours. Making matters worse, I had a huge Gatorade addiction as a child. But in all six years of elementary school, I never broke my policy once. It’s shocking I never developed a UTI. Nowadays, it doesn’t matter if the bathroom is gross or crowded or whatever... If I gotta pee, I’m gonna pee!"
23."We would climb up on the metal roof of my grandparents' barn (40 feet up at the peak) and slide down the roof."
24."Ran cross country in high school. When our coach just gave us a distance to run and not a location, we would go run near a miles-long drainage ditch near our school. The ground was mostly sand, but also had large rocks, fallen trees, etc. Running back there was an adventure, but in hindsight very dangerous. If one of us had gotten hurt, it would have been nearly impossible for help to get to us. The woods around this ditch, we now know, are also filled with encampments for homeless."
25."There was a long, winding hill in our neighborhood that we used to call 'the zig-zag.' Once, on a dare, I rode down the zig-zag on a bike with no chain. If I had wiped out, I could’ve broken my neck! Thankfully, I made it down ok, but I still live in the area, and occasionally, I see 'the zig-zag' and think about how stupid I was."
26."The big one that comes to mind is fire jumping. The idea was that people would line up to jump over the fire pit. But just before you jump, another person would dump a little accelerator on the fire to make it flare up. Ideally, you’d look really cool *almost* jumping through a wall of flames…without actually getting burned. Shockingly, only once did we have a close call, or burn worse than a few missing eyebrows."
27."Lived on the 30th floor of an apartment building, and I used to lean out the window for fun when no one else was around."
28."Rode around in a friend’s VW Beetle with no seatbelts and anywhere from five to eight people crammed in."
29."I used to go out on my own every day after school BY MYSELF and sell stuff door to door. The number of times I went inside people’s houses so they could sit and look at the catalog! People gave me cookies or candy sometimes and stuff to drink!"
30.And finally, "I went through a phase where I just stopped bothering to wear a seat belt. Which is horrifying to think back on as an adult. The fact that I was never involved in an accident during that time is a fucking miracle."
Some responses have been edited for length/clarity.
Do you have your own childhood danger stories? Let's hear them in the comments.