Salt and ice challenge can lead to frostbite: Docs
A boy living in Swansea, Wales, was badly injured when he took part in the "salt and ice" challenge, reported WalesOnline on Jan 6.
For this challenge, people put salt then ice on their skin, which causes secondary burns.
The student's burns were so severe that it damaged his nerve endings.
The challenge, which started in 2012 in the United States, is making a reappearance with videos of people getting hurt after doing the challenge.
While it has not caught on here yet, doctors told The New Paper that people should not attempt the stunt as it can cause first- and second-degree frostbite.
It is so worrying that the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children in the United Kingdom has warned the public not to try it, reported The Huffington Post UK.
There are no reported cases here so far.
Associate Professor Steven Thng, a senior consultant at the National Skin Centre, said most participants will experience first-degree frostbite.
And though there may not seem to be any injury to the skin, repeated freezing and "thawing" of the area might result in long-term insensitivity to temperature.
He added: "This could result in second-degree frostbite where they get blisters and lose their sense of touch."
Dr Eileen Tan, a dermatologist at Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital, said the areas most prone to frostbite are the head, face, ears, hands and feet.
She said: "Children are also more prone to thermal injury as their skin loses heat more rapidly, and they do not know how to identify danger signs early."
Madam Jenny Nai, 42, said she will educate her three children about the challenge.
"I will explain to them they should not foolishly follow these trends at the expense of their health, even if their friends dare them to do it," said the senior manager who works in the transportation industry.
Previous viral challenges that resulted in serious injury and death included planking, where people would lie down in a rigid position for a period of time.
In 2011, an Australian man fell seven storeys to his death while planking on a high-rise balcony, reported CNN.
There also was the ice bucket challenge, where people poured a bucket of ice and water over themselves to raise awareness about amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, which affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord.
In 2014, a teenager in the UK died doing a variation of that challenge, leaping into the water from 24m-high cliffs, reported The Telegraph.
Ms Belinda Ang, founder-director of thinkBIG Communications, told TNP that school crazes and challenges are not exclusive to this generation and have always been around but social media amplifies them.
Social media expert and international communications strategist, Mr Lars Voedisch, said social media can have similar effects to drug consumption and can enable people to feel happy and enthusiastic for a short period of time.
He added: "Similar to previous challenges such as planking, the more dangerous it is, the stronger the reaction you get from your viewers.
"Participants will go the extra mile if they think they are able to reach a larger audience."