A viral “challenge” from 2012 is making the rounds on social media once more, and putting teens at risk of major burns to their skin. The Huffington Post reports that the “salt and ice challenge,” in which people put salt and ice on their arms or hands, can cause first or second-degree burns.
When salt and ice are applied to the skin, the salt decreases the temperature of the ice to below freezing, creating a painful cold sensation and a frostbite-like effect. The “challenge” is to keep the salt and ice on your skin for the longest. But the damage doesn’t show up until the numbness from the ice subsides, so there’s no way to know how bad things are until it’s too late. A British child welfare group released a warning after kids kept coming home from schools with burns that were so bad that they left scars behind, according to Yahoo News.
“The rise of social media has contributed to increasing peer pressure among children,” a spokesperson for the UK’s National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children told the Huffington Post. “This ‘craze’ is another clear example of the risks.” The British group says schools and parents need to keep a watchful eye on kids so they don’t try out this trend.