EUGENE, Ore.– (Warning: Graphic Video) A disturbing trend is catching fire across the country. Teens and adults are lighting parts of their body on fire for internet fame. It’s called the fire challenge, and videos have exploded on social media.
Licensed professional counselor David Neale says there are several reasons why youth would engage in such risky behaviors.
“I think there are several reasons like the drive of youth for popularity, for amusement, and approval from their peers. Also, I think there’s a developmental stage that youth are going through where they’re seeking to establish an identity and separation from their adult culture,” said David Neale.
No reported incidents have occurred in Oregon, but the challenge is responsible for killing a New York teen, and causing severe injuries to many others, such as burns and inhalation of dangerous fumes and toxins.
As the videos grow in popularity, so does the concern, but Neale believes the surge will eventually end on its own.
“My opinion is after these things go viral, we’ll have a rash of incidents where somebody engages in this behavior, and then it subsides because the youth will see that it’s actually injuring other people and see that it’s not appropriate behavior,” said Neale.
The challenge has fire departments in other parts of the US sending out warnings and has victims speaking out against the challenge.