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Kids Are Setting Themselves On Fire To 'Boost Online Profiles'

Kids Are Setting Themselves On Fire To 'Boost Online Profiles'

The latest internet craze 'The Fire Challenge' is risking the lives of youngsters who're ending up in hospital with serious burns after setting themselves on fire for social media 'likes'.

Hospital bosses have said the children are setting themselves on fire in an attempt to become 'social media stars'.

Timiyah Landers from Detroit burned 49 per cent of her body in the dangerous trend. Credit: WXYZ-TV Detroit
Timiyah Landers from Detroit burned 49 per cent of her body in the dangerous trend. Credit: WXYZ-TV Detroit

It's believed the children are hoping the dangerous stunts will enhance their online popularity and get them 'likes', but many of the youngster have ended up with serious burns - some have even ended up needing surgery and on life-support.

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Though no specific numbers have been released, staff at the specialist burns unit at Swansea's Morriston Hospital have seen a rise in kids being admitted after taking on the stunts which has led to bosses sending out a warning to everyone taking part in online dares and stunts.

Back in August, Timiyah Landers, from Detroit, ended up requiring a ventilator in intensive care after taking part in the dangerous trend.

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It was reported the youngster's mum finished making pancakes for Timiyah and her two friends and left them alone for only minutes when she heard a 'loud bang' when she went to investigate her young daughter was being swallowed by the flames.

Timiyah's dad splashed water on her, while her mum attempted to remove her burning clothes and now the youngster is still in the recovery process, but the dangerous stunt could have claimed her life.

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Her mum, Brandi Owens, told the Washington Post: "She looked like a fireball. She was yelling, 'Help me'. They weren't expecting it to go that way. It was just a challenge, so it's a lesson learned for all of them."

Kids Are Setting Themselves On Fire For A Social Media Trend Credit: WXYZ-TV Detroit
Kids Are Setting Themselves On Fire For A Social Media Trend Credit: WXYZ-TV Detroit
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Jeremy Yarrow, a plastic surgeon at Morriston hospital told The Metro: "I can understand there is pressure on young people to gain acceptance or boost their online profiles by doing such risky things as these challenges.

"But from the patients I see, the results can be very different, with some requiring life support treatment and many left with lifelong scars.

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"In some severe and sometimes life-threatening cases, they are admitted to hospital for long periods of time for complex surgery resulting in long term mental and physical issues."

Although the trend has now hit youngsters in the UK it originally came from the US, dating back to 2012 when YouTuber, 1BlazinEagle1, posted a video of himself setting fire to his chest hair, by 2014 it had racked up over 100,000 views.

The video sadly became an inspiration for youngsters wishing to take on the challenge.

Featured Image Credit: WXYZ-TV Detroit

Topics: Children, UK News, dangerous, Social Media, US News

Rachael Grealish

Rachael is a NCTJ qualified journalist from West Cumbria, with a passion for news, features and journalism. Outside of work Rachael loves plenty of coffee, running and reading.