texas

Texas Teens Injuring Themselves in ‘Fire Challenge'

Teens record themselves spraying aerosol cans or pouring flammable liquid onto their stomachs or hands and lighting it

A trend called the "fire challenge" has spread across the country and Texas teens are landing in emergency rooms suffering from severe burns.

To participate in the challenge, teens record themselves spraying aerosol cans or pouring flammable liquid onto their stomachs or hands and lighting it. Then they post the videos on social media with the hashtag #firechallenge.

"There's a misconception that they're going to be able to light themselves on fire, get a cool video and then quickly put the flames with shower water," said Parkland Memorial Hospital burn specialist Stephanie Campbell. "But it's absolutely not true."

Several teens have reportedly been injured or killed performing the challenge.

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"We started seeing it back in 2013 and 2014," she said. "It went away for a little bit, but it seems to be making a comeback which is upsetting to us. Younger people are not understanding the consequences of them doing this."

Campbell said when Parkland treated patients back in 2013 and 2014 their injuries consisted of burns mainly on their torso area.

Teens told NBC 5 it's meant to attract attention on social media.

"Is it really worth getting all of those likes on Facebook?" Campbell asked. "All of the pain and intense rehab? Burn injuries are injuries for a lifetime. This is what a lot of young people don't understand."

Doctors in New York warned against the challenge after a 12-year-old boy set himself on fire late last month. He was rushed to the hospital in critical condition with second- and third-degree burns over nearly half his body.

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