Dangerous social media challenges could leave behind lifelong injuries
Dangerous challenges on social media are becoming much more common among teens. Videos showing teens harming themselves to gain attention or follow the latest social media trends are surfacing all over the Internet. Medical experts say this is only the beginning.
"These kids really don't know the dangers, they're just doing it for the likes, the followers. In reality, they don't know the health issues that could arise from these challenges," said Erika Gomez, who works at the McAllen Primary Care Clinic.
The most recent of the dark social media trends is 'The Deodorant Challenge,' where someone sprays deodorant onto bare skin for as long as possible.
"It can go from 1st degree, 2nd degree, even 3rd degree burns. You are obviously going to end up with scars," said Gomez.
Another dangerous trend popping up on the Internet is the ‘Ice and Salt Challenge,’ where teens pour salt on a part of their body and then place an ice cube over it. The salt can lower the temperature of the ice cube to 1 degree within five minutes leaving the teen with serious and permanent burns.
Although this trend has been seen in past years, local doctors say it's still happening right here in the Rio Grande Valley.
"I've had a couple of patients with the actual scars of the burning, the ice and the salt burning," said Gomez.
Parents say it's getting out of hand.
"I think they're pretty stupid. It can be fun for adults, but kids, it's pretty unsafe," said Mauricio Flores.
Experts agree that better parental supervision will help decrease the number of dangerous accidents caused by social media challenges.
"We go back to them feeling pressured to fit in. But it has to do a lot with how they're raised and we as parents need to always be aware and monitoring them so it doesn't happen," said Gomez.