OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - Don't set yourself on fire. It seems like that should be common sense, but it's a warning fire and medical officials across the country are having to actually tell people these days. And it's all because of a growing trend on social media sites, called "the fire challenge."
The challenge calls for someone to stand in the bathtub, pour any flammable liquid onto his or her chest and/or torso, then light a fire and hope the person behind the camera recording, catches the shower water putting the flames out. Needless to say, it's a challenge that can have deadly results.
"The kids nowadays like to get these 'likes' and 'seen by' and they put this on there and they're really not looking at the big picture. They're putting it on their body with these fluids that'll catch on fire, but they're not thinking about them breathing in those fluids. They may not get to the water quick enough to put themselves out," David Wicker of the Ocean Springs Fire Department says.
Those seeking short term fame should know, it's not the successful attempts that are getting the most attention.
"I was looking at was some different videos on YouTube that had been posted, and most of them are titled 'failed,'" Wicker said.
Dr. Terrall Moore is an emergency room doctor at Ocean Springs Hospital. He said many people taking on the challenge don't even realize their plan to put the flames out may not be enough.
"Not being water soluble, that moves the flame down and causes burns for the rest of the body, and the longer you're in contact with the flame the more significant burn. And you can sustain some pretty significant burns with this," Dr. Moore said.
Officials can really only offer one piece of advice for anyone looking at taking on the challenge: "Just don't do it, and that way you don't have to worry about being treated for it," Dr. Moore said.