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Experts: Don’t Try “Salt and Ice Challenge”

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -  There is a new challenge for young kids and teens that has some health and science experts wondering why they're even trying it, because it can prove very dangerous.

It's called the Salt and Ice Challenge.  It entails putting salt somewhere on your body, many kids are putting it on their arm.  Then you take an ice-cube and hold it down against the salt for as long as you can.

The problem for educational coordinator Daling McMoran with The University of Kansas Hospital's Poison Control Center, is he can't find any good reason to want to do this to your skin.

"Actually what they're doing, is they're burning it. The salt and the ice mixture will actually remove the heat from the body. It's like a chemical reaction and it's absorbing the heat and it's lowering the temperature causing anywhere from frostbite to second degree burns," McMoran said.

He also adds, if you use, say,  just your finger, you could face amputation.

"It's not a wise thing to be doing something like this to your body," McMoran said.

Associate Professor of Chemistry at Park University, Donna Howell, said with just pure water under the conditions of a test she conducted, the water started crystallizing at point-three degrees Celsius.  She said add 30 percent of salt to the water, and the freezing is well below negative 10 degrees Celsius.

"So what they have in their hands, is well below negative 10 and that's enough to give you pretty serious frostbite," she said.

Howell also said keep in mind, the kids who have tried this are putting pure salt on their arms, and not just 30 percent.

McMoran warns damage to your skin sometimes isn't seen immediately.  He said it could take a day or two before you realize how severe it really is.

A University of Kansas Hospital spokesperson said, fortunately, they have not seen any of these type of cases here so far.

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email: gia.vang@wdaftv4.com

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