A friend of mine introduced me to a game. A Facebook game. However, instead of asking others to play, he was warning anyone that would listen of this very dangerous game. It’s a popular trend in which mainly teens and pre-teens are getting involved. It’s called the “Fire Challenge”. Have you heard of it? I hadn’t. But, as probably most of you, I haveheard of the Cinnamon Challenge, the Ice Challenge, and most recently, the Cold Water Challenge. The Fire Challenge, however, takes these games to a whole new level.
There is a myth making its rounds in correlation with the Fire Challenge which states that when rubbing alcohol is put on your skin, only the alcohol and fumes will burn, not your skin. In the Fire Challenge, the person accepting the challenge pours flammable liquid (usually rubbing alcohol or something similar) onto their bare skin while standing in a bathtub (believing that if all goes wrong, they can simply turn the shower on). Then, they take a lighter and ignite the liquid, which then, to their surprise and dismay, engulfs their bodies in flames. To most adults (there have been some adults to participate), the thought of doing such a thing to your body is unfathomable. As adults, we are able to see the lasting consequences of such an idea. However, the pre-teens and teens are not considering the end result. Teens are challenging, or rather daring, each other to participate. Some are saying that it is peer pressure that is causing this trend to rise. Others are blaming social media sites as these teens are uploading their videos of the Fire Challenge to Facebook, YouTube, and others in hopes of a chance to have a video go viral. Since this trend began, numerous participants around America have been rushed to the hospital for second and third degree burns. Sadly, a 15 year old boy died from injuries due to participating.
Fire Marshals all over the country are urging parents to be aware of what your kids are doing and what they may be viewing or getting involved with on the internet. Take precautionary measures by speaking with your children today, even if they have not heard of the trend yet. Here are some facts about the Fire Challenge and burn injuries that you may want to share with your child:
- The myth surrounding the fire challenge is wrong. Pouring flammable liquid on your skin, such as rubbing alcohol and nail polish remover WILL burn your skin, even to the second and third degree!
- Second degree burns are also known as partial-thickness burns meaning that the top several layers of skin are burnt. This causes swelling and blistering and is very painful.
- Third degree burns are also known as full-thickness burns meaning that the full thickness of the skin is destroyed down to the muscle underneath. This causes permanent scarring, possible permanent damage (such as nerve damage), and, depending on the severity, can cause death.
- Flammable liquid is what causes the combustion and then allows the fire to spread at rapid rates. So rapid, in fact, that it makes logical thinking almost impossible. The people doing the burn challenge are unable to think clearly enough to even turn on the shower. People instinctually run when on fire which is what many of the participants do in their videos, being unable to help themselves at all.
As parents, this should bring awareness to the effects of peer pressure on our children. It should also serve as a reminder to always be aware of what our children are viewing online. Take time to talk with your children today about the long-lasting damage that the Fire Challenge and other peer-pressured events can cause and prepare them on how to simply say “no”.