At emergency rooms across the nation doctors are beginning to see the toll of a new craze– a game, being played by teens that is sending many to burn units and could be fatal. The game is known as “The Fire Challenge,” the antithesis of the “Ice Bucket Challenge,” which raised money for ALS. The Fire Challenge is not intended to raise money for any charity. Rather, the game is simple but highly hazardous. In the Fire Challenge, Kids are actually dousing themselves with flammable liquids and intentionally setting themselves on fire.
The teens videotape themselves completing the challenge and post the video to social media sites such as YouTube.
In recent weeks, the burn unit at Vanderbilt treated a male juvenile for severe burns to more than 10 percent of his body after setting himself on fire.
Such fads are nothing new. In 2012 there were kids posting videos of themselves on the internet taking “The Condom Challenge” in which teens would unroll a condom and inhale it through their noses and pull it through their mouths.
Dr. Blair Summitt of Vanderbilt University Hospital wants parents to be aware of the social stunt and wants teens to understand the potential consequences of the game.
“It can take a second or two to get a deep burn and cause serious scaring,” he said, “These burns could affect these kids for the rest of their lives if it doesn’t end their lives.”
On August 1, a 12-year-old St. Louis girl suffered extensive burns over most of her body after setting herself on fire. She had seen the stunt performed on videos posted on Youtube.
One fatality has been reported in neighboring Cape Girardeau, Mo. Fire Battalion Chief Mark Starnes has confirmed that a teen has died from burns suffered while performing the Fire Challenge.
Videos of teens playing the potentially deadly game can be viewed on Youtube. No cases of injuries related to The Fire Challenge have been reported at LeConte Medical Center as of yet. This article is not intended to encourage anyone to participate in this dangerous game. It is intended to inform parents of the hazardous fad so that they may prevent such behavior.