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Format: 04/17/2014
Format: 04/17/2014


Pittsburgh Boy Severely Burned in "Salt and Ice Challenge"

Friday, June 29th, 2012

West Penn Hospital Burn Center Doctors Warn of Dangers Associated With Activity Popularized on YouTube
Pittsburgh, PA (June 29, 2012) - A 12-year-old Pittsburgh boy has learned the hard way that the “salt and ice challenge” popularized on You Tube is a dangerous game.
The boy suffered second-degree burns when, on a dare, companions put salt topped by ice on his back. The combination causes a chemical reaction that can begin burning the skin almost immediately. The patient was treated at the West Penn Hospital Burn Center outpatient facility this week and will spend the next several weeks recovering.
Millions have viewed videos of the salt and ice challenge on You Tube and other internet sites, and cases of burn injuries associated with the activity have been reported around the country. In the spring a Philadelphia-area school district issued a warning to students about its dangers.
In an effort to help prevent other young people from suffering a similar injury, Ariel Aballay, MD, Director at the West Penn Burn Center, met with media on Friday to discuss the case and show photos of the local boy’s burns.   
The boy’s family chose not to allow their identity to be known. They released the following statement:
“We want teenagers and the general public to know that the “salt and ice challenge” is extremely dangerous. Videos on You Tube, Facebook and other social media do not accurately show the terrible injuries that can result. We are grateful that our son is recovering and hope that sharing his story will stop other young people from attempting this stunt.”
For more information, contact:
West Penn Allegheny Health System
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