'Salt and ice challenge' worries Valley doctors - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

'Salt and ice challenge' worries Valley doctors

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A clip from a YouTube video showing a teen trying the 'Salt and Ice' challenge. A clip from a YouTube video showing a teen trying the 'Salt and Ice' challenge.
This Pittsburgh teen was severely 'burned' during the 'Salt and Ice' challenge in 2012. This Pittsburgh teen was severely 'burned' during the 'Salt and Ice' challenge in 2012.
PHOENIX (CBS5) -

There is a new internet sensation, and thousands of YouTube videos are making the rounds online. It's called the salt and ice challenge, and it can be very dangerous.

"Kids mainly on YouTube are taking salt and pouring it onto their hands or pouring it onto their skin and then applying ice," explained Dr. Frank LoVecchio, the co-medical director of Banner's Poison Control Center. 

The ice and salt interact and the temperature can drop well below freezing. According to a test by CBS5, after just a few minutes, the mixtures register at less than 20 degrees Fahrenheit.

"I can't imagine these kids holding it for that long, but there are records I'm told of seven, eight or nine minutes," said LoVecchio.

There are also cases of teenagers hurting themselves while trying this challenge. Last summer, a teenager in Pittsburgh received second-degree frostbite burns after his brother poured salt in a cross shape on his back and then applied ice.

"It's similar if you try to hold dry ice. When you try to hold dry ice if you do squeeze dry ice or grab it, you will get a burn typically. It's the same sort of principal. The moisture in your skin freezes and the moisture in your skin causes a burn," LoVecchio explained.

LoVecchio said there have not been many cases yet here in the Valley, but the Poison Control Center is prepared for any calls.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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