Several challenges have captivated teen video lovers but now the dare has expanded to include fire. Recently a teen was seriously injured after he accepted the “fire challenge” and set himself ablaze. These videos which have popped up across social media platforms have gone viral. After seeing these challenges on YouTube and Facebook a 15-year-old boy from Kentucky decided to join in. The unsuspecting boy poured alcohol on his chest and set it on fire. As a result, the teen suffered second-degree burns but still has no idea why he did it.
The Fire Challenge is a dare game in which a participant voluntarily sets oneself on fire for a short period of time by applying flammable liquids or igniting combustible parts of their body and filming the outcome. Once they have filmed themselves, in order for the challenge to actually be “accepted” they upload and spread the video through social media channels.
This disturbing new craze has risen in popularity within the last few weeks and has been blamed for a number of injuries. Playing with fire is not a new idea; however the challenge with the possibility of going viral has lured more victims. Challenges can be fun, but these have clearly proven to be a bad idea. It seems many cannot resist the pressure of feeling as if “everyone is doing it” and maybe they should too.
The injured teen from Kentucky said the #FireChallenge posts he had seen did not show what happened after the fire had been put out. When he was questioned about his expectations from the stunt he replied, he did not know, he was not really thinking. The teen accepted a challenge without thinking and will now suffer the consequences for the rest of his life. He released a follow-up video, with his abdomen heavily bandaged, cautioning people against accepting the fire challenge.
Fred Sanders, Shreveport Assistant Fire Chief, said this latest craze is no laughing matter and has the potential to leave victims scarred for life. Sanders continued,
What these kids do not know is the challenge cannot only harm them, but kill them. People need to use common sense which may be difficult for some because not everyone has common sense.
These types of challenges are not new, they have now escalated to “out of control.” Two years ago teens were being warned against the “Salt and Ice Burn” challenge that left many disfigured forever. The salt and ice challenge was another dangerous YouTube phenomenon where participants poured salt on their bodies and then placed ice on top of the salt. This foolishness would cause a “burning” sensation while participants tried to see who could withstand the pain for the longest time.
The mixture of salt and ice allows a transition to liquid water at a temperature significantly lower than the standard freezing point of water. This effect can quickly cause second and third-degree injuries similar to frostbite. Due to the numbing sensation of the cold and possible nerve damage, in the midst of the challenge participants would be unaware of the extent of injuries they had sustained.
Fearing the trend could become a hit in the UK, a spokesperson for London Fire Brigade said,
We have heard of some reckless and sill acts involving fire, but accepting a dare to set yourself on fire is beyond stupid. We sadly see the devastating burns that fire can inflict on people and ask everyone to please COMPLETELY ignore this craze. If you or a piece of your clothes is on fire it is important to stop, drop and roll immediately.
This new craze called the Fire Challenge has become hugely “fashionable” in recent weeks. Videos of people dousing themselves in flammable substances, and setting the materials on fire have gone viral. While this disturbing new craze has risen in popularity, it has also been blamed for a number of injuries.
*WARNING: VIDEO CONTAINS PROFANITY
By: Cherese Jackson (Virginia)