Social media communities were awash with videos of people from all walks of life enduring the sweltering cold of the Ice Bucket Challenge - an effort to raise awareness for the neurodegenerative disease, ALS.
But US teens are embracing a viral stunt at the opposite end of the thermal spectrum, called the “fire challenge”, and it has become a dangerous pastime with no apparent purpose beyond the flames.
A 12-year-old boy is left with severe burns in New York City is the latest victim of the fire challenge, as he was unable to extinguish the self-inflicted fire set on his body, the New York Post reports.
The object of the game is to douse oneself in rubbing alcohol or nail polish remover in close proximity to the bathtub or shower, then immediately put out the fire after it is lit. But the boy was unable to do so, resulting in third-degree burns on more than 40 per cent of his body.
Police did not release the name of the victim, but he was listed in critical condition in the Nassau University Medical Center Burn Unit.