A Dearborn, Michigan 12-year-old was hospitalized after attempting a “fire challenge” seen on YouTube. The boy’s mother, Tabitha Cleary, told NBC affiliate WDIV of Detroit her son Jason suffered second-degree burns after a friend sprayed him with nail polish remover and set him on fire.
“The first time it was like a little tiny fire, then they swatted it out,” Jason told WDIV. The second time the fire was lit, he said, the flames flared up, spreading across his chest and stomach. The incident occurred on Saturday. Cleary heard Jason screaming and rushed him to the hospital for emergency treatment.
This is not the first instance of this social media stunt causing serious damage. In 2016, a boy from Queens, New York covered himself with rubbing alcohol and set himself on fire as part of the challenge, and was hospitalized for severe burns, according to NBC New York. And just last year, a 12-year-old girl from Detroit suffered second- and third-degree burns after attempting the stunt, which resulted in her spending two months in the hospital, WDIV reported.
Other social media challenges have been harmful to kids as well. Stunts include the “Cinnamon Challenge,” the “Condom Challenge,” the “Tide Pod Challenge,” the “Shell On Challenge,” and many more, including a recent viral fad where people lick grocery items, then put them back on the shelves. These trends have resulted in hospitalizations, arrests, and multiple injuries.
“I just want everybody to know that these challenges, or whatever they’re watching on YouTube, is not worth risking your life,” Tabitha Cleary told WDIV. “My son got burned second-degree — and it could have been way worse.”