A Londonderry mother has appealed for young teens not to take part in the dangerous ‘salt and ice’ dares doing the rounds online, after her 15 year-old was left with burns on her wrist.
The mother said her daughter has been left embarrassed and upset since the incident a week ago, when she rubbed salt and ice onto her wrist after an apparent dare on Facebook.
The 50 -year-old mum said her daughters, the other of whom is aged 14, and their friends had even been asked to put glass on their legs to cut themselves, but decided against doing so because “it would be too painful”.
The dares are understood to challenge people to see how long they can bare the pain and there are videos and images from unidentified people carrying out the acts on social networking sites and YouTube.
In recent months the high-profile Neknominations, where people were dared to down large quantities of alcohol and other substances and post videos online, caused outrage.
Two people died in the Republic and three in the UK, reportedly as a result of the challenges.
The Londonderry mum, who did not wish to be named to protect her daughter’s identity, said she felt obliged to speak out to make other parents aware of what their children can be doing on the Internet.
“They don’t have to be on laptops or computers,” she said. “They can be seeing all these things and doing them using their phones. I don’t think my daughter thought it was going to burn her. Now she could be scarred for life.
“Parents need to know these things are happening.”
The mother said her children did not know the people they were being dared by. “They were strangers, maybe even from outside Northern Ireland. They are going on there and being asked to do these things and pass it on, and they don’t realise how dangerous it can be. The whole family was on at her after for doing this.
“She is very embarrassed and upset by the whole thing.”
SDLP MLA Pat Ramsey said the dares are extremely dangerous and a big cause of concern for parents.
“It is quite clear that some of the photos I have seen about this contain burns that will leave a person scarred for life, and indeed doctors are warning of possible muscle damage as a result of what are very severe and painful burns,” he said. “I would urge parents particularly of teenagers to monitor social media use and in particular speak to their loved ones about this issue, it is very dangerous and clearly no young person wants to be left with scars, especially as a result of an online ‘dare’.”