STATEN ISLAND, NY --Popularized on social media, the latest deadly teen game called “the fire challenge” involves coating the abdomen or chest with an accelerant such as rubbing alcohol and lighting it on fire. The goal? To see how long you can last before putting it out. The result? A number of teens have wound up in the hospital and one has died.
“This is one of the most dangerous things anyone can do,” says Dr. Michael Cooper, director of the Jerome L. Finkelstein Regional Burn Center at Staten Island University Hospital.“The real challenge is not the game but the recovery from the burn. Flame burns are the deepest burns one can sustain,” Dr. Cooper says. “You’re facing months of hospitalization involving surgery, painful removal of burnt skin and possible grafting followed by months of physical rehabilitation and life-changing physical and mental scars.”
For anyone thinking of taking up the challenge, Dr. Cooper stresses: “Don’t do it! You’re literally playing with fire.”