After the idiotic Tide Pod fiasco earlier this year, it seems we’re unfortunately not out of the woods with these ridiculous internet ‘challenges’.
Some teenagers are reportedly setting themselves on fire – in ways we won’t divulge here – as part of a new craze, imaginatively called the ‘Fire Challenge’.
Unsurprisingly, hospitals and medical experts have issued warnings urging people not to do this, as they have seen a rise in the number of teenagers admitted to hospital with serious burns.
The craze apparently started in 2014, but has recently been revived by young people seeking attention online.
Wales in particular has seen a rise in the cases of youngsters setting themselves on fire. Swansea’s Morriston Hospital has confirmed a recent rise in teenagers being admitted to hospital with serious burns on their body, according to MailOnline.
In some cases, people have required surgery and even been put on life-support treatment.
Now, Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board has issued a warning to anyone thinking of taking part in the dangerous game.
Jeremy Yarrow, a plastic surgeon at Morriston Hospital, said:
I can understand there is pressure on young people to gain acceptance or boost their online profiles by doing such risky things as these challenges.
But from the patients I see, the results can be very different, with some requiring life support treatment and many left with lifelong scars.
In some severe and sometimes life-threatening cases, they are admitted to hospital for long periods of time for complex surgery resulting in long term mental and physical issues.
In August this year, a 12-year-old girl from Detroit was rushed to hospital after setting herself alight when she was taking part in the ‘challenge’ with two friends.
Timiyah Landers had to be bandaged from head to toe after the burns covered 49 per cent of her body.
Timyah’s mother, Brandi Owens, said she heard a small explosion come from the room her daughter and her friends were playing in.
‘She came running up my hallway on fire from her knees to her hair,’ Brandi said.
She told Fox:
These kids are trying these YouTube challenges, that’s where they get this challenges is YouTube, and they’re trying it with their friends.
Brandi and her partner quickly put Timiyah in the bath and doused her with water before rushing her to hospital. The other two girls admitted they had been taking part in the fire challenge.
Brandi has called for YouTube to ban these videos, saying:
Monitor these kids, especially with these phones, and if I could after with this happening – my kids would never be able to be on social media. No more iPhones. Nothing.
Instead of starting a new year at school, Brandi’s daughter Timiyah will be in hospital for the next few months while she recovers from her injuries.
Staff at Morriston Hospital’s Welsh Centre for Burns and Plastic Surgery added that, while good first aid can massively help the treatment of burns, the best practice is, of course, to not take place in these stunts in the first place.
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.