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Lowcountry officials urge parents to talk to children about dangers of fire challenge

CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - A dangerous dare is drawing national attention.

The social media stunt, called the "fire challenge," involves someone pouring a flammable liquid all over, seconds before setting themselves on fire.

The goal is to put out the blaze before it reaches the skin.  Officials fear that task is too much for anyone to safely manage.

"It's very terrifying because we see the results daily of children who are accidentally burned," said Jill Evans.

Evans works as a nurse and coordinator for MUSC's Pediatric Burn Service.

"We focus a lot on trying to prevent children from becoming our patients."

Bianca Borbeau, a spokesperson for the North Charleston Fire Department, wasn't aware of any Lowcountry "fire challenge" participants early Thursday, but warned parents to speak to their children ahead of a tragic result.

"If you are shocked, that's a fair reaction, but talk to your children in a very rational, calm way about the dangers," she said.

"It's one of those things where teens feel the need to belong and stand out at the same time."

Pediatric surgeon, Dr. Aaron Lesher, also of MUSC, said self-inflicted burns are extremely rare, at one percent, but added the flames present during the fire challenge can be even more dangerous than accidental scaldings.

"It can be life altering in a matter of seconds."

Copyright WCSC 2014.  All rights reserved.



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