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 at NUMC

Dr. Riina at NUMC

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.

You can view coverage of this event on newsday.com, abc, nbc, and longisland.com.