As countless grieving parents can attest, peer pressure on social media is a horrifying, but very real reality amongst teenagers these days.
It seems as though every day we hear of a dangerous new trend that’s threatening the life and safety of our children.
I was shocked to the core when I learned of the latest “social media challenge” that has been viewed over 7 million times on YouTube and is taking the internet by storm.
This new “challenge” calls for participants to put their pain tolerance to the test by rubbing salt and ice on their skin. As evidence of their participation, children of all ages are posting images of their burnt and blistered skin online.
While it may seem like a silly little harmless “game”, many children don’t realize the dangerous results of blending salt with ice.
The combination of salt and ice can drop the temperature of ice to as low as 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit, which is similar to frostbite. And sadly, many participants have learned the hard way.
Countless contestants of this horrifying little “game” have landed themselves in the hospital with third-degree burns. Severe cases were left with permanent nerve damage, while others required skin grafts and extensive surgeries in an attempt to reverse the damage.
“It essentially kills the outer layer of the skin right away,” explained Dr. Dhaval Bhavsar of the University of Kansas Health System. “The kid who is there to prove, who’s going to keep the ice there for the longest, is the one who is going to have the worst of the injuries.”
The Huffington Post reported that effects from the competition often don’t become noticeable until after numbness and redness from the ice has subsided– hours after it’s too late and the permanent, devastating damage is done.
A spokesperson for the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children told the Huffington Post, “It is important for schools keep a close eye on all emerging trends and we welcome the warning to parents. The rise of social media has contributed to increasing peer pressure among children. This ‘craze’ [salt and ice challenge] is another clear example of the risks.”
If you’ve noticed any abnormal marks on your child or are worried that they may consider joining this horrific new social media”challenge” here are a few helpful tips:
1. Explain the definition of “peer pressure”, and give some related & non-related examples of what it can look like.
2. Remind them that it can be hard to say ‘no’ to your friends, but it is not okay for them to pressure you like this — and it’s not your fault.
3. Explain that by saying no, you are being the bigger person. Teach them to say no with confidence. Ask them if they’ve ever practiced or had to say “no.”
4. Teach them to be the kind of person who encourages others to do something positive instead of self-destructive.
If someone has suffered a burn:
(Via Fox News)
1. Make sure they are treated immediately by running the affected area under cool water for at least 10 minutes or until the pain feels better.
2. Do not use ice, gels or creams as they can damage tissues and increase risk of infection.
3. Once the burn has cooled, cover it with kitchen film.
4. If the burn is on the face, hands, feet, or larger than the size of the person’s hand, seek further medical advice.
Please educate your children about the severe dangers that come with this horrifying “salt and ice challenge.” And please share this warning with every parent you know!