Darwin prize hopefuls? Parents warned over internet ‘Fire Challenge’
What may sound like a ridiculous warning comes hot on the heels of an internet fad which sees teenagers pour flammable liquid over their body and light it on fire – seriously.
Children’s games have changed and in an age obsessed with celebrity; people are prepared to go to deadly lengths to gain notoriety.
Dubbed the “Fire Challenge,” the craze has resulted in videos of adolescents using nail polish remover and hand sanitizer to turn themselves into human fireballs.
Oliver Sharp, 11, reportedly became the latest victim of the fiery trend in the UK when he set his t-shirt on fire as part of a dare.
According to the Scunthorpe Telegraph, the young boy will require a skin graft after suffering serious burns.
The incident led the Humberside Fire and Rescue Service to issue a safety message.
“An eleven-year-old boy in Barnetby has suffered serious burns after setting himself on fire in response to a ‘dare’ from his friends.
“This reckless activity is not only endangering the lives of the participants, but putting other lives at risk if towels or carpets ignite as the flames spread,” the Humberside Fire & Rescue Service said.
“The craze now appears to have surfaced in our region, with North Lincolnshire having had this recent incident.”
The fire brigade has advised parents to monitor their children’s use of Instagram, YouTube, Twitter and Facebook.
Adults should also discuss the dangers of the ludicrous challenge and “look out for lighters or matches in pockets or drawers.”
Last year, another craze known as Neknominate swept across the internet. It saw people goading each other to chug alcohol and post a video of it online for their entertainment.
While the game started off with people “necking” cans of beer, it soon escalated to whole bottles of hard liquor like whiskey or vodka.
A number of deaths were linked to the binge drinking game, including that of a young British man who reportedly downed two pints of gin, the equivalent to 37 shots.
Other hair-brained phenomena which the digital age has thrown up include: “Porting” (the practice of dousing yourself in fortified wine) and the “Gallon Smash.”
A particularly unsavory fad was “Plumbking,” which had those looking to make fools of themselves pull crazy poses on their toilet bowl.