Even critics of social media have to admit that it serves as a great tool for keeping in touch with friends and family. Nonetheless, it does not have the best reputation when it comes to shaping impressionable young minds. Take this viral challenge, for instance. Kids need only household products to complete it, but doctors are warning that the outcome can be dangerous!
Recently, doctors have seen a resurgence of cases involving minor burns. Interestingly, none of these patients had accidents with irons or stoves. Instead, they combined together two everyday items — salt and ice — to make a hazardous mixture. In fact, when both items are joined, the two can do damage in the form of frostbite and even second-degree burns.
In these viral videos, the subjects press the ice-salt mixture to their skin with great pressure, which gives them an instant surge of pain, as well as redness and scarring.
We’re sure that, at this point, you are probably scratching your heads and trying to figure out why anyone would purposely burn themselves in the first place. Who would knowingly put themselves in the emergency room, anyways? Well, the answer to this question is even more disturbing than the scars themselves.
Simply put, this social media trend has been spreading like wildfire for years over popular platforms like YouTube and Snapchat. Kids, some of them as young as third graders, have, at the insistence of stars’ previous videos, been “accepting” the challenge in order to post their own videos. What it comes down to is recognition and, unfortunately, peer pressure.
Participants—which includes a long list of beloved YouTubers—who film themselves doing this challenge seem to do it for fast fame, but it’s clear that they aren’t taking into account the young people that may be watching.
KERO out of Bakersfield shares one story of a mother watching several children who tried the challenge on their own, unbeknownst to her. After asking for table salt and later reemerging from a room with injuries, the kids ended up admitting to using it for the social media challenge.
Two of the children who participated needed medical attention after being diagnosed with minor burns. “It happened so quick,” explains Lydia Gonzalez, the caretaker of the burned children. “They came, and they asked for salt. I made dinner, and then, all of a sudden, the whole story came out.”
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