For people in the United States ranging in ages of ten to twenty-four suicides is the second leading cause of death. According to information gained from the Center for Disease Control’s National Center for Injury prevention and Control; the three leading methods of suicide are self-shooting with a firearm, hanging or some form of suffocation, and intentional ingestion of poisonous substances.

Hanging and Suffocation rates

The March issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report states that there has been a 6.7 increase in the number of girls between the ages of 10 and 24 who are choosing hanging, or some other form of suffocation as a means of suicide. There has been an increase of 2.2% in the number of boys between the ages of ten and twenty four who choose to commit suicide by some means of suffocation since 1994.

Who is Most at Risk?

Teens that have friends or acquaintances who commit suicide by hanging are more likely to do the same thing. It has been proven that when sensational coverage is done of a suicide the number of copycats of that action increases drastically.
When the suicide method is explained in detail by the media coverage the number of copycats rises. This type of media coverage of these horrific deaths sensationalizes the event in the minds of other young people who may already be considering suicide and causes many of them to feel that by doing the same thing they will solve some issue in their life.
What should Doctors and Parents be on the Look-out for?
One of the main things that parents, friends, and relatives can watch is for the signs such as:

  • Increased alcohol consumption
  • A young person that begins to have reckless behavior
  • Young people who seem anxious or agitated
  •  Young people who talk about feelings of hopelessness or despair. You might find these things mention on social media sites like FaceBook and Twitter
  •  Young people who talk about, or write letters about death, dying, or killing themselves
  •  Yong people who have extreme mood swings
  • Young people who start to sleep more than usual, and those who stop sleeping as much as they did before
  • Young people who are isolated by choice, or by circumstance
  • Young people who have a fascination with suicide and reports of suicide

How pediatricians and Medical Professionals can be of Help

Pediatricians and any medical professional can help reduce the number of suicides by simply listening. All medical professionals should take the time to ask young people about their lives, their school, and their favorite activities. You can learn more about a child, and their health issues by listening to them, and to their parents, than you can from any examination.
When medical professionals see any of the signs of a child at risk they should address the problem with the parents, and they should try to talk to the child, and if possible they should recommend that the child speaks with a mental health mental health expert that could help them explore other ways of correcting problems in their lives.