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The Social Media Fire Challenge

Social media challenges are becoming a popular trend. These challenges occur when a person films themselves doing an act and then posts the video online where they challenge friends to do the same act.

Currently, there is a challenge going around called the “Fire Challenge.” For this challenge, people douse themselves with an accelerant, ignite it, put the fire out, and then post the video online challenging friends.

Oakland County Health Division strongly encourages parents to be aware of their child’s activities as well as discuss the dangers of this activity with them.

Dangers of the Fire Challenge include:

  • Having items such as clothing being melted to skin
  • Not being able to put the fire out quickly
  • 2nd and 3rd degree burns causing hospitalization
  • There have even been deaths reported of people who took the challenge
  • Lighting surroundings on fire

What Can Parents Do?

  • Become informed on the warning signs and risks of this activity
  • Talk to their children about the impact of burn injuries and participating in unreasonable risks
  • Monitor use of social media; outlets such as Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook cause the latest trends to travel at lightning speed
  • Understand that the brain in individuals under the age of 25 are still developing, meaning rewards and risks are not processed the same way as adults
  • Model healthy risk taking and thrill seeking
  • Provide opportunities for thrill seeking behaviors in healthy ways
  • Flag dangerous YouTube videos

For more information on the Fire Challenge visit www.nfpa.org/firechallenge or www.traumaburn.org/prevention/seanstory/misuse/help.shtml.

Oakland County Public Health Information
Kathleen Forzley, RS, MPA
Manager/Health Officer