Yesterday, a press conference was held at Nassau University Medical Center to address a social media challenge that has left a 12-year-old Far Rockaway boy with second and third degree burns over 40% of his body. People attempting the fire challenge, mostly teenagers, douse themselves in flammable liquid, set themselves on fire and jump into a running shower to put out the fire. They then upload the video to social media. “These injuries at that temperature take place in less than a second,” said Louis Riina, MD, FACS, partner at Long Island Plastic Surgical Group and Assistant Director of the Burn Unit at NUMC.
This is the first case involving a victim of the fire challenge the hospital has received. “As a parent, and a surgeon, this is an alarming situation,” Dr. Riina said. “We have to have very frank discussions with our children.”
Dr. Riina addressed the media alongside NUMC President/CEO Dr. Victor Politi, County Executive Edward P. Mangano, and County Chief Fire Marshal Scott Tusa. The doctors and officials are issuing a warning to parents to speak to their children about the obvious dangers of this challenge.