WARNING: CONTAINS GRAPHIC IMAGES
Every few months, a new craze takes over the internet and suddenly your social media feeds are filled with videos of people taking on new challenges.
Whether people are trying to raise awareness of illnesses (who can forget the brilliant Ice Bucket Challenge raising millions for ALS?), or just have fun with friends by recreating the Mannequin Challenge, these videos go viral and suddenly you can’t help but see them everywhere you look.
However, not all of them are charitable or harmless fun – some can be very, very dangerous.
The most recent internet challenge is particularly worrying for parents of young children or teenagers.
Young people have started sharing videos of themselves doing the Ice and Salt Challenge, which requires them to rub both on their arms.
The result is a severe burning sensation, and the challenge requires them to keep it on for as long as possible before they can’t stand the pain anymore.
The challenge leaves permanent scars (Credit: Facebook)
Although children and teens have been sharing their videos in the thousands, the challenge is particularly dangerous because it causes a chemical reaction similar to frostbite.
The salt reduces the temperature of the ice to -17 degrees Celsius and has left many with scars and burns - and in the worst scenarios children have been forced to undergo skin grafts.
One young boy from Swansea was left in such pain that his mother shared the images in order to warn others.
“It is so deep that it has burnt all the nerve endings,” she said.
Young children and teens are sharing pictures of the challenge (Credit: Facebook)
“It is like severe frostbite. It could have gone septic and caused organ failure.”
The challenge, which started in the US a few years ago, has been relatively under the radar, but has recently picked up traction in the UK.
Police and the NSPCC are warning parents and children alike to avoid this internet craze.
Results of the salt and ice challenge (CreditL Facebook)
An NSPCC spokesperson said: “It is important for schools to keep a close eye on all emerging trends and we welcome the police’s warning to head teachers.
“The rise of social media has contributed to increasing peer pressure amongst children and this ‘craze’ is another clear example of the risks.”
Are you worried about your child engaging in this internet craze? Let us know what you think @CloserOnline via Facebook or Twitter.