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The salt and ice combo: this dangerous new trend giving teens permanent scars

Friday, January 30th, 2015

Latest teen craze: Salt and ice react to burn the skin.

Latest teen craze: Salt and ice react to burn the skin.

When salt is mixed with ice on top of human skin, a reaction occurs which burns the skin in a way similar to frostbite, potentially creating second- or third-degree burns (if not permanent nerve damage) within seconds.

Yet, that’s what a group of teenagers were doing to themselves at a recent sleepover on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, much to their parents’ horror.

Termed the salt and ice challenge, the dangerous stunt is the new way for teens to make fools – and physically injured fools, at that – of themselves on social media.

Rebecca Etherington’s 14-year-old daughter, Hannah, will have a permanent scar on her leg as a painful reminder of what she thought was “harmless fun”.

Mrs Etherington had never heard of the “salt and ice challenge” until she saw the open wound on Hannah’s leg last week.

Hannah told her she had been at a sleepover with a friend and they had taken part in the challenge, which involves pouring salt on the skin and then pressing an ice cube to the area.

The “challenge” first made headlines in the U.S. back in 2012, but it appears it may have

made its way to Australia.

Hannah’s mother went on to explain that her daughter and her friends discovered the challenge “on social media”.

Searching “salt and ice challenge” on YouTube returns 233,000 results. Some of the most-watched videos include “DEADLY ICE BUCKET CHALLENGE” and “Kid Dies From Salt & Ice Challenge (Almost)”.

It’s not the first time a dangerous challenge has been spread across social media. Two years ago, parents were concerned about the cinnamon challenge, in which teens (and adults) attempted to eat a tablespoon of dry cinnamon without gagging.

When the cinnamon challenge didn’t go as planned, the cinnamon could find itself up the nose of the person trying to consume it, which created a strong burning sensation. There was also the possibility that the cinnamon would be inhaled, becoming lodged in the lungs, potentially causing pnuemonia.

But the salt and ice challenge is a different kettle of fish, because injuring yourself isn’t what happens when things go wrong, it’s actually the whole point of the exercise.

Mrs Etherington told the Sunshine Coast Daily that, while many families would see such behaviour as a cry for help, the challenge divorces self-harm from emotional turmoil.

“They’ve turned what used to be something done by kids who are emotionally damaged into the latest craze.”

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Henry Sapiecha

SALT IS NECESSARY AND GOOD FOR US BECAUSE…

Tuesday, December 7th, 2010

Too little salt linked to death and fracture risk

Nonsense advice most patients hear in the exam room, and I’m sure you’ve heard it often enough from your own medico.

Stop eating salt!

Well, I’ve got news for you: The low-sodium diet your doc has been trying to cram down your throat won’t lower your blood pressure – and a new study confirms what I’ve been saying all along.

Low sodium diets can kill you.

And if you do manage to survive, your bones might not be so lucky.

In the new study, researchers examined the records of more than 5,200 Dutch men and women over the age of 55, and found that about 8 percent of them had low sodium levels.

These seniors who were low in sodium – no doubt dutifully obeying their doctor’s orders – had a 61 percent increased risk of spinal fracture, a 39 percent increased risk of non-spinal fracture, and a 21 percent increase in the risk of dying during the six-year study period.

Even worse, these weren’t patients with dramatically deficient levels of sodium – they were just a little on the low side. The researchers called it “mild” hyponatremia during their presentation at the American Society of Nephrology’s annual meeting.

And if that’s what “mild” hyponatremia will do to you, imagine the damage that could accompany the strict low-salt diet pushed by so many doctors.

Now wonder seniors are in such bad shape!

Death and broken bones aren’t the only risks that could come from obeying your doctor’s worst orders. Low levels of sodium can also cause nervousness, muscle cramps, urinary incontinence, and even hallucinations.

But the biggest risk of all is culinary: Without salt, you would suffer from dull and lifeless meals.

Salt tablets are taken in bucketfulls in hot desert type countries to overcome salt loss and excessive sweating. We need salt in our system, so where is the cutoff point?

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha