'Fire challenge' fad growing in popularity with teens

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by MICHAEL KONOPASEK / KING 5 News

KREM.com

Posted on August 1, 2014 at 8:45 AM

Updated Friday, Aug 1 at 8:45 AM

SEATTLE-- A fad that is anything but funny is sending children to emergency rooms across the country in growing numbers. News reports of various injuries, including second- and third-degree burns have been published throughout the week.

The challenge is designed to have people pour rubbing alcohol and other flammable liquids on their bodies and light themselves on fire. Videos of the stunts can be found on YouTube, where children have been becoming online sensations for all the wrong reasons. In some cases, the childrens' parents are the ones shooting the video.

Typically, kids are seen pulling the stunts in or near bathtubs, close to running water. Earlier this week, a 14-year-old boy from a Houston suburb was hospitalized after the fire challenge. His mom spoke to Houston TV station KHOU.

"It's not fun, it's not funny, it's not cute," said the mom who asked not to be identified. "I don't understand why they would want to do it, and now he's having second degree burns and he's in pain."

Experts say long-term and permanent damage can be caused from the challenge.

"After getting a certain second or third degree burn, later on in life you can get a sunburn. It's going to be compounded by these particular burns," said fire Capt. C. Harrod.

Experts advise parents to monitor social media and take a look at what videos their kids are viewing.
 

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