WTF Kids? Is There A Stupid Social Media Challenge You Won’t Try?

by Sarah Hosseini
Originally Published: 
Image via Instagram

The ‘salt and ice challenge’ is burning kids and sending them to the hospital

Parents be warned about this weird and dangerous social media trend. The internet game called the “salt and ice challenge” is making the rounds again and kids are ending up in the hospital. The burns they’re getting are severe and can even cause permanent damage.

Here’s how the stupid challenge works: participants are instructed to place salt and ice together on their skin. Then they’re supposed to see how long they can stand the excruciating pain before flinging the ice off of them. The burning sensation they feel is akin to frostbite because when salt and ice combine it significantly lowers the temperature of the ice. The fun and utterly moronic part of the challenge is sharing photos of their “results” on social media. We’re not joking, it’s incredibly dumb.

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Pictures are popping up all over Instagram of kids showing their burns like glorified war wounds. Many of the kids used the hashtag #saltandicechallenge presumably to garner “likes.”

Image via Instagram/chase_guns170vlogs

Image via Instagram/NarutooOfficial2

Image via Instagram/demoncake27

Image via Instagram/samuel_w_markham

Some of the pictures were even more gruesome and graphic than above. We also saw videos of kids putting salt and ice on their tongues, probably not even understanding that they could potentially burn their mouths. For godsakes kids?!

Many of these children and teens doing the challenge are left with localized first or second degree burns, according to the Daily Mail. That’s if they’re lucky. The same article reported that many kids have been hospitalized with third degree burns and have even suffered permanent nerve damage as a result.

The “salt and ice challenge” is nothing new among kids and teens. It’s a trend that’s been oscillating in and out of popularity over the last few years. However, the craze has become so rampant and concerning that the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) in the U.K. issued a warning to parents this week. Beyond urging parents and school administrators to be “vigilant” in curbing these harmful behaviors, the children’s charity touched on the issue of peer pressure.

“It can be hard to say ‘no’ to your friends, especially when they’re all joining in. It’s not okay for friends to pressure you like this. And it’s not your fault,” a NSPCC spokesperson said. The organization also outlined simple tips in the Huffington Post for parents to pass down to their kids that can help with these stupid social media trends.

  1. Say no with confidence.
  2. Try not to judge those who take part.
  3. Spend time with friends who do say ‘no.’
  4. Suggest something else to do instead.

The unfortunate truth is that peer pressure often pushes kids to make poor choices because their desire to fit in sometimes supersedes good judgement. If your child does end up participating in the challenge and you need to treat their burn right away, Web MD offered steps for second-degree burns.

  1. Cool Burn: Immerse in cool water for 10 or 15 minutes (use compresses if running water isn’t available).
  2. Don’t apply ice. It can lower body temperature and cause further damage.
  3. Don’t break blisters or apply butter or ointments, which can cause infection.
  4. Protect Burn: Cover loosely with sterile, nonstick bandage and secure in place with gauze or tape.
  5. Call a medial professional to follow up

Salt and ice challenge

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