A New Social Media Challenge is Sending Kids to the Emergency Room

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Have you seen the new challenge on social media among tweens and teens?  It’s even more dangerous than the ice bucket challenge from two years ago. These kids end up in the emergency room with second-degree burns. Doctors advise parents to talk with their kids and explain the dangers of this “game” called the ‘salt and ice challenge.’

What kids do is putting salt and ice on their skin at the same time, and see who can stand the pain the longest.

You might think this is harmless at first, but here’s what happens: the salt reduces the ice temperature to 1.4 F giving them permanent scars if left for 5-10 minutes.

The kids think the redness and numbness on their skin are due to the ice, and not because of the reaction of ice and salt which is, in fact, burning their skin similar to frostbite. So, they are not even aware what’s happening.

More and more tweens and teens are doing this dangerous challenge and posting pictures of their burns on Facebook and other social media as proof. This encourages other kids to try the popular ice and salt challenge and see if it really works as their friends say. Even 8-year olds are playing this bizarre “game.

Dr. Brian from the Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University  Health,  says he’s treated several kids for burns sustained by this challenge only in the past year, so this trend has been around for years. However, thanks to the social media it is now gaining more popularity among the youth.

As he explains, the challenge turns your skin to leather. You lose the blood vessels in that area, as well as sensation due to the lack of nerve endings. If you do it on your arm, you’ll never have hair on the spot again. It basically leaves you with a bald patch. Some kids that posted pictures and videos on the Internet have third-degree burns.

That’s why doctors ask parents to emphasize to their kids how dangerous the ice and salt challenge can be. A good thing would be to check the social media profiles of their kids as well as their friends to see if anyone has shared a picture of them doing the challenge. In this way, parents can take their kids to the ER if needed.

See how dangerous this challenge really is:

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