Because kids have nothing better to do with their time except douse themselves in flammable liquid and then light themselves on fire while a friend records it on video until the fire is put out, “the fire challenge” was born, and now a Charlotte, N.C., mother has been arrested for allegedly helping her teenage son light himself on fire.
According to the Associated Press, Janie Talley, 41, was “arrested last week on a charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.” Her 16-year-old son suffered minor burns to his chest and neck after a video showing him dousing himself in what appeared to be fingernail polish and then lighting himself on fire made its way to social media sites, including Facebook and Worldstar Hip Hop, in late July.
In the video, a huge ball of fire engulfs the teen’s entire upper body. The boy, who was standing in the shower, panics and begins running out of the bathroom. People can be seen forcing the yelling boy back into the shower where the fire is put out.
AP notes that at least two children have been hospitalized with severe burns since the “game” gained popularity.
A 12-year-old and a 14-year-old both burned themselves severely trying to perform the stunt, and according to Ernest Grant, a spokesman for the Jaycee Burn Center in Chapel Hill, N.C., who spoke to AP, they both require extensive surgery and could potentially be scarred for life.
Grant also told AP that the potential for panic is high once the flames burst. Running feeds the flames by giving them more oxygen, not to mentioned the toxic air that can be breathed in and burn the lungs.
“It just goes against everything we’re taught from when we’re young, and defies common sense,” Grant said.
AP noted that Facebook has begun deleting “fire challenge” videos as soon as they are reported.
Read more at the Associated Press.