PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Have you heard of the “Salt and Ice Challenge?” Chances are your kids have.
Once again, social media sites like YouTube and Facebook have popularized a dangerous new game that’s drawing alarm from parents and medical experts.
In the Salt and Ice Challenge, a participant pours salt on the skin, presses ice cubes into it and holds them in place until the ice melts or until the burning pain becomes so unbearable, they need to stop.
KDKA’s Kym Gable talked to the Chairman of Emergency Medicine at Allegheny General Hospital.
Dr. Thomas Campbell said, “It’s a chemical reaction that pulls heat from the skin and causes a worse burn than they would individually. I’m fortunate that I’m in the emergency department and sometimes get to see these things early. ”
The injuries range from redness and blistering to second and third degree burns that often require antibiotics.
“Or in the case of the severe third degree burn, could actually require skin grafting,” said Dr. Campbell. “It is serious stuff and you add to that any alcohol or drugs related to these dares and you have a scenario that’s set up to be a big problem for people.”
The problem is so bad in the Philadelphia area that the Phoenixville School District sent a letter home to parents. Dr. Campbell says he’s not aware of any severe injuries in the Pittsburgh region.