SALISBURY, Md.- It's tempting and it's dangerous. It's called the "salt and ice challenge" and it's a game that doctors say can lead to severe skin burns.
Many young people are trying this at home.
"I'm surprised and shocked," said John Bubniak of Baltimore. The father of two said he has never heard of this experiment before.
It's an experiment that has been turned into a game for some teens and is even featured in several homemade videos on YouTube.
"I understand how it's free and everybody can use it," said Bubniak about YouTube. "But maybe they need to do something to police some of the videos that are on YouTube."
When salt is mixed with ice, the salt eventually gets dissolved. The process uses energy like heat. When using heat from the skin, that can end up leaving a burn like a frost bite.
The salt and ice injury happened to a 12-year-old boy in Pittsburgh, Pa., just last week where his back was left blistered with second-degree burns in the shape of a cross.
"These things can be dangerous and can have long term consequences," said Dr. Jeremy Strohkirch of Peninsula Regional Medical Center in Salisbury. "Burns can be serious and they can actually damage the skin, leading to infections."
Teddy Seward of Salisbury said he knows some young people he works with who have tried this game.
"They are just doing it to try to seem cooler, to show their pain tolerance, to show off really," Seward said.
Bubniak's son, William Bowe, said even though he's only 12-years-old, he knows this dangerous game is something not to try at home.
"Kids do it so they can try new things," said Bowe. "But when they try it, it gets worse and worse."
Parents like Bubniak hope that talking about it will bring more awareness about this dangerous fad to prevent others from getting hurt.
"A lot of kids don't know that they can't erase all the stuff of the computers," Buniak said."You can always go back and see what they have been looking at."
Local medical facilities in Sussex and Wicomico counties are not reporting any recent cases of salt- and ice-related burns.
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