The Short of It
Kids are actually lighting themselves up for the "Fire Challenge."
What is it with kids and challenges these days? We've already seen the Eraser Challenge, the Condom Challenge, the Cinnamon Challenge, the Banana Peel Challenge, and, of course, we can't forget the Kylie Jenner Lip Challenge.
But there's another viral trend taking over social media that has got to be the stupidest—and most dangerous—dare we've seen yet: the Fire Challenge. And while it's been around for a while, doctors are now issuing a warning about it after several kids have recently ended up in burn units.
Why? Because the Fire Challenge basically involves dousing yourself in rubbing alcohol, setting yourself on fire ... and then hoping you make it into a running shower in time.
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"We know that children can sometimes be led astray and do things that are harmful, but to set oneself on fire brings it to new levels of foolishness," Victor Politi of Nassau University Medical Center told ABC News.
"These injuries at that temperature take place in less than a second," added NUMC's Dr. Louis Riina. "This is an alarming situation. We have to have very frank discussions with our children."
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In fact, doctors at NUMC are currently treating a 12-year-old boy from Far Rockaway who attempted the Fire Challenge last week and ended up with second- and third-degree burns over most of his body.
"He underwent a very extensive reconstructive procedure last Friday," Dr. Riina said. "He's doing relatively well, but he was fighting for his life this weekend."
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If you play with fire, you get burned. It's one of the very first things we're taught growing up. Are today's kids really so desperate for attention that they're willing to ignore such imminent danger and seriously injure or even kill themselves to get it?
I am glad the 12-year-old boy is making a recovery, but the fact that these kids actually need to be warned against setting themselves on fire is just so sad. It makes me wonder if we're somehow failing them—both as parents and as a society.