The dangerous side of GoPro cameras

Thursday, December 25, 2014
The dangerous side of GoPro cameras
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The cameras have become popular over the years. But if you bought one for your child for Christmas, there's a warning for you!

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- GoPro cameras hit store shelves several years ago and have become more and more popular. But if you bought one for your child for Christmas this year, there's a warning for you!

Industry experts are warning you to have a serious chat with your teen about safety before letting them attach a GoPro to their helmet.

"The most popular things are going to be water skiing, snow skiing, any kind of underwater diving; a lot of people attach them to cars, going around doing the different racing and trouble making and whatnot," said William Hardin with Houston Camera Exchange.

GoPros are marketed to extreme sports hobbyists trying to share their perspective with the world. They've also captured the attention of teenagers -- so much so, that several Christmas gift guides out there name GoPros as some of the top tech gifts for teens.

And while your kid may think he's unwrapping the best Christmas present ever, it could be all the encouragement he needs to become a little daredevil.

We showed video of a teen's erratic behavior to Dr. Kay Leaming-Van Zandt at Texas Children'S Hospital.

"As an emergency medicine physician but also as a mother, it gives me palpitations, mainly because it's sad, it's scary that kids and teenagers want to go to the extreme," she said.

Luckily, the kid in the video made it out without injury but will the next one? Dr. Leaming-Van Zandt says teenagers are already inclined to take risks.

"And at the end of the day, it ends up not being worth it, so parents really need to keep a watchful eye over their children and teenagers," she said.

Back at the Houston Camera Exchange, Hardin echoes that warning.

"Having nieces and nephews, I don't want them killing themselves when they borrow my camera, flat out. I know they want to play with it, but you don't want them hurting themselves just for the sake of a video," he said.

Hardin says GoPros are great when they're in the right hands.

A spokesman for GoPro told us he, too, is a parent and always makes sure to talk with his children about safety before they pursue any activity like biking or surfing.