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Health Warning to Parents & Teenagers Regarding the Popular Viral Fire Challenge

A health warning has been issued to local parents and teenagers about the popular internet fire challenge.

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Health warning issued to extinguish the popular internet fire challenge that can be deadly. (Left to right): Dr. Louis Riina, Assistant Director of Burn Unit; NUMC President/CEO Dr. Victor Politi; County Executive Edward P. Mangano; County Chief Fire Marshal Scott Tusa.

Nassau County, NY - May 31, 2016 - Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano and Nassau University Medical Center (NUMC) CEO/President Dr. Victor Politi joined with physicians from NUMC’s Burn Center and fire safety officials today to issue a health warning to local parents and teenagers about the popular internet fire challenge.

“While the Nassau University Medical Center Burn Unit is ready to treat anyone ignorant enough to try the fire challenge, we urge our children to think twice,” County Executive Mangano said. “The dangerous fire challenge can result in multiple operations and even death. It makes no sense to most of us, yet a quick online search pulls up hundreds of fire challenge videos. Help us extinguish the fire challenge by speaking with your children today.”

Fire challenge – a viral online trend - is when someone pours flammable liquid on themselves and then sets themselves on fire, and uploads a video of the stunt to social media. Some say the challenge is in seeing how long they can handle the pain. One week ago, police reported a Far Rockaway 12-year-old covered himself in rubbing alcohol, set himself ablaze and burned more than 40 percent of his body attempting the life threatening stunt.

County Executive Mangano urged parents to speak with their children about the dangers of fire and to look at the videos their teenagers are watching on their iPhones, tablets and computers.