Ice and Salt Challenge Making a Local Impact

By: Brittany Lowe Email
By: Brittany Lowe Email

Coast to coast and right here in the Mid Ohio Valley, two household products becoming quite the craze with teens.

It's the salt and water challenge and it's leaving teens with burns.

Local hospitals say they've seen the challengers.. become patients.

"They just try to be number one on it and see who can get the best time, like of keeping it on there the longest," says Marietta Middle School sixth grader, Carley Burton.

Marietta Middle School says they've seen more than a few cases in just the past weeks. The school even had one go to the Emergency Room after seeing the severe burn.

"It was very red and had bubbles on it, where how long she kept it on there, it was really bad," says Burton.

And while Burton says she's never done it, she's seen plenty of scars, saying it all seems to be starting on Facebook.

"They take pictures day by day and post them on Facebook and they have a whole album of picture for people to see how bad it gets," explains Burton.

The teens put salt in their hand or arm, placing the ice on top, and seeing who can stand the discomfort the longest.

"By placing salt with the ice, you now lower the freezing point of the ice, this then draws more heat from the skin causing a cooler temperature and therefore increasing any type of burn that you can get from the reaction." says the Medical Director of the Emergency Room at Marietta Memorial Hospital, Dr. Dan Breece.

Doctors say they typically see a one to third degree burn, comparable to frostbite.

Whether the teen calls it a game, challenge, or experiment, doctors call it dangerous.

"Which could potentially change the rest of their life, quite frankly, if you receive a third degree burn to a hand or a very important part of your body, this could involve loss of function, forever," explains Dr. Breece.

One Marietta Middle School student says she did out of curiosity, leaving it on for only a few seconds, but still left with a scar.

"It's something that the kids are picking up from each other, I think that it's kind of, the kids are keeping it on the down low, I don't think that the parents are aware of it at all. If they do happen to see a scar I think the kids are saying, Oh I burnt myself on the stove," says Marietta Middle School counselor, Lisa Polk.

The school counselor says this challenge is just one more reason parents need to stay involved.

"Watch your kids Facebook, that's my best advice is a lot of these things are happening on Facebook, they communicate with each other, you need to see who they're talking to and whats going on in their lives, that's the biggest indicator right now, social networking," explains Polk.

Polk says the challenge only come to their attention in the last few weeks so they are talking about it in health class and monitoring it.

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