A UK children’s charity is warning parents of a resurgence of a dangerous social media craze known as the “salt and ice challenge” that can cause serious chemical burns.
The “challenge” involves youngsters placing salt and ice on their skin, causing a chemical reaction that reduces the temperature of the ice to as low as -17C (1.4F), and seeing who can withstand the pain the longest.
The resulting burns, similar to frostbite, are then photographed and shared online.
Some teenagers trying the craze when it first appeared several years ago ended up in hospital with 3rd degree burns, and now the painful challenge has returned the NSPCC is urging parents and teachers to remain vigilant.
The challenge can result in permanent scarring and even nerve damage. One mom, who wished to remain anonymous, explained how her son “has some feeling in the red part around the edge [of the burn] but nothing on the burn itself” after trying the challenge.
“It’s like severe frostbite. It could have gone septic and caused organ failure.”