Salt and Ice Challenge: Teens Engage in Dangerous Game
A new teen game that consists of using salt and ice to create burns has become dangerous.
What is the Salt and Ice Challenge?
The challenge involves nothing more than a handful of salt and some ice cubes. Participants pour the salt into their hand and then add the ice cubes. Some simply close their fist and see how long they can hold it closed — others actually have friends press the salt/ice mixture onto their skin and hold it. The object is to see who has the higher pain tolerance and can withstand the burning pain the longest.
Part of the lure for teens is the possibility of becoming an internet superstar by posting a video on YouTube and sharing it with friends. The popularity of these videos makes it harder to stop teens from trying the challenge themselves, especially when they watch video footage of someone who isn’t badly injured.
Why does the salt and ice challenge burn?
Late last month, a Pittsburgh boy was taken to the emergency room with 2nd degree burns on his back in the shape of a cross after his brother and friends held salt and ice on his back.
Adding salt to ice or ice water actually lowers the temperature and makes it colder than the regular freezing temperature for water, 32 degrees F. The mixture soaks up heat from the surrounding skin cells, causing a second- or third-degree burn similar to frostbite. Anyone who has ever had extended contact with ice or very cold water knows how uncomfortable it feels on your skin.
The boy lasted with the salt and ice with the shape of a cross for over twenty minutes.
Videos of the salt and ice challenge on Youtube
There are hundreds and hundreds of videos on Youtube uploaded by teenagers and young adults showing their toughness in the salt and ice challenge. These videos are coming from all over the United States, but it's been so bad in certain areas of Pittsburgh that local school officials have released notes and warning to parents about the challenge.
Below are some videos of teenagers that have uploaded themselves playing the salt and ice challenge.