Warnings Over 'Fire Challenge'

An eleven year old boy in Barnetby has suffered serious burns after setting himself on fire in response to a ‘dare’ from his friends.

Humberside Fire and Rescue Service were not called to the incident as the boy’s mother rushed him straight to Scunthorpe General Hospital after putting out his burning clothes.

The ‘Fire Challenge’ as it is called has now attracted national media attention due to the inherent dangers and reports of an American teenager dying last year after engulfing his whole body in flames. 

It involves person to pour a liquid accelerant, such as nail polish remover or hand sanitizer on his or her body and set it on fire. Videos of this dangerous activity are then shared on Facebook or YouTube.

Parents can also play their part by looking out for warning signs and following these guidelines from fire officers:

- Have a conversation with children about the impact of burn injuries and participating in unreasonable risks

- Monitor their children’s use of social media. Outlets such as Instagram, YouTube, Twitter and Facebook cause the latest trends to travel at lightning speed. Additionally, the validation from “likes”, “views”, and comments from followers provide a hefty social reward for those who post photos and videos

- Recognise that adolescents do not process rewards and risks the same way as adults do. The teenage brain is much more likely to succumb to peer pressure in person or online

- Be aware that the element of competition within a peer group can lead to children pushing the limits of safety

- Look out for lighters or matches in pockets or in drawers and discuss the dangers with children

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