'Salt & Ice Challenge': Dangerous New Game Is Scarring Kids for Life

Say What!? 53

ice cubeThey call it the salt and ice challenge. This addition to the "what will teens come up with next" files might better be named "stupid, dangerous, and a sign we need to improve our science curriculum in this country." You know what happens when salt and ice combine in real life?

That's right, a reaction very similar to a chemical reaction. And when that reaction between the cold and the salt is happening on the bare skin of a teenager, you get something like the horrific burns that will make the summer miserable for one young salt and ice "challenger" who landed in the West Penn Burn Center last week because he took his friends' dare.

Oh, yeah ... he got off easy.

Doctors are warning parents that the challenge -- where salt is poured across a teenager's skin, and ice is added -- has resulted in third degree burns on some kids. Those are generally the most severe type of burns, the kind that can require skin grafts to treat.

All this because kids want to prove they're so bad--s that they can withstand the chemical reaction of salt melting ice for as long as possible? Ahem. So. Not. Worth. It.

So why should parents be concerned about the salt and ice challenge when there are all those other freaky games they could be freaking about? Simple: it's summer. That means ice is abundant. And so is bare skin.

The temptation is at an all-time high, and YouTube is full of videos to teach them how to do it. So, a few words to the wise: if you notice the kids hitting the freezer and snagging the salt shaker, you might want to step in for a little science instruction.

Have your kids tried the salt and ice challenge?


Image via stevendepolo/Flickr

behavior, friends


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Evaly... EvalynCarnate

Im ASTONISHED at how stupid kids are anymore. Just absolutely insane! What I always wonder, is what is there to prove by doing these "challenges".."Hehe, lets scar and disfigure each other for FUN! It was on youtube so it MUST BE FUN!"

nonmember avatar Lilac

Wow kids are dumb these days. I mean the sheer lack of basic intelligent shocks and disturbs me.

nonmember avatar Dr Science

There is no chemical reaction here. Salt water has a lower freezing temperature than tap water. Salting ice causes the ice to melt. It's why we salt roads in the winter. But it takes heat to physically melt the ice. In our case, this heat is coming from the body. Lose too much heat, and the skin freezes. These aren't burns. These kids are getting frost bite.

Amand... AmandaSnyder

@ Dr Science Then why are these kids getting burned the evidence is all over youtube and our hosptials in fact the other day I saw two military kids because of this God blessed game.  Kids are really in need of help to find something better to occupy their time.

nonmember avatar Deanna

This is not a new game. I'm 24 and I knew kids in middle school who did this as a form of self mutilation.

stron... strontium

this is not NEW

kids where doing this when I was in Elementary school over 10 years ago.


nonmember avatar Dani

yea... These games aren't new at all. They are just grabbing people's attention now. In school i saw many of these things: salt & ice game, eraser burn game, choke game, cigarette burn game, home made tattoos (made with paper clips and pen ink), and all sorts of other things. And i went to a private school! Kids are crazy that's all it is.

qrex912 qrex912

Yep, not a new thing. Also its frostbite, which when its severe looks similar to a burn.

butte... butterflyfreak

HAHA Lucretia, I was thinking along the same lines, Darwinism at its finest!

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