Nassau County doctors issue warning about 'fire challenge'

Kristin Thorne Image
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
Nassau County doctors issue warning about 'fire challenege'
Kristin Thorne brings us the story.

EAST MEADOW, Long Island (WABC) -- It's a dumb stunt and it has doctors issuing a warning about a foolish act that has put several kids in burn units.

"We know that children can sometimes be led astray and do things that are harmful but to set oneself on fire brings it to new levels of foolishness," said Victor Politi, Nassau University Medical Center.

It's called the fire challenge.

It involves showing off on social media, how you douse yourself in rubbing alcohol, set yourself on fire and hope you make it into a running shower in time.

"These injuries at that temperature take place in less than a second," said Dr. Louis Riina, Nassau University Medical Center.

Doctors are issuing a warning to parents to speak to their children about the obvious dangers of lighting yourself on fire.

"This is an alarming situation. We have to have very frank discussions with our children," Dr. Riina said.

Doctors at Nassau University Medical Center are treating a 12-year-old boy from Far Rockaway who just last week did the fire challenge.

He ended up with second and third degree burns over most of his body.

"He underwent a very extensive reconstructive procedure last Friday. He's doing relatively well, but he was fighting for his life this weekend," Dr. Riina said.

People say maybe the key is to not give these kids the attention they so desperately want.

"I think they feel if they get people to watch them they'll do more. Don't feed into it. Ignore it and it will go away," said George Andreadakis, a Bayside resident.