Okay, let’s just come out and say it: Young adults have always done stupid, risky things just for the thrills. The problem today, though, is that popular and social media amplify dangerous stunts, putting more teens and preteens at risk.
Remember the hot-water challenge? Participants were supposed to either drink or douse themselves with boiling H2O, and that one led to horrible injuries and even a death.
When someone tried that so-called challenge at a sleepover, it even led to an arrest. But even getting placed in police custody would be preferable to what happened to Timiyah Landers of Detroit, Michigan.
Understand that Timiyah wasn’t participating in the hot-water challenge. Internet trends are like mayflies, coming to life and passing away over an incredibly short time span.
No, Timiyah got caught up in something altogether more dangerous: the fire challenge. According to the Daily Mail, the fire challenge is supposed to involve dousing yourself with a flammable liquid and then setting yourself alight.
In the best-case scenarios, the flammable stuff flares up and quickly dies down with no lasting damage done. But Timiyah didn’t have a best-case scenario.
The first thing that alerted her mother, Brandi Landers, to any potential trouble was the sound of an explosion. She had just made her daughter and her two friends pancakes before settling in for a nap.
Then a boom resounded through the residence, and Landers looked up to see something no parent should have to behold. Her child “came running up my hallway on fire from her knees to her hair,” she told WJBK.
Landers’ fiancé quickly intervened. He got Timiyah into a bath tub and sprayed her down with water.
It seemed as though Timiyah had used a Bath & Body Works scented spray as her accelerant. And it did horrible things to the young girl.
The flames covered her in second-degree burns over 49 percent of her body. She’s currently being kept in intensive care.
Worst yet, physicians have put her on a ventilator to assist her breathing. They expect her to stay in the hospital for multiple months.
Landers has laid the blame for the damage done to her daughter squarely at the feet of YouTube. She wants to see videos showcasing the fire challenge removed.
“These kids are trying these YouTube challenges,” she said. “That’s where they get this [sic] challenges is YouTube, and they’re trying it with their friends.”
Indeed, when Landers confronted Timiyah’s two pals, they admitted that they’d gotten the idea from the social media platform. Landers thinks that more people need to be made aware of its dangers.
“Monitor these kids, especially with these phones, and if I could after with this happening, my kids would never be able to be on social media. No more iPhones. Nothing.”
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