Created on: March 11, 2013
A 21-year-old babysitter in Prince William County, located in Northern Virginia outside Washington D.C., was charged with child abuse after she allegedly played the "salt and ice challenge" with the 9-year-old girl she was minding.
Police say the babysitter played the dangerous "game" with the girl on Feb. 26.
According to the Washington Post, school officials noted the girl had burns on her arm when she was at school on March 4.
After the incident was brought to the attention of local authorities, Prince William Police charged the babysitter with a felony child abuse charge the next day, reported WTOP News.
Medical experts say extreme cases can cause second and third degree burns. It only takes a few seconds for the salt and ice to make contact on the skin to cause it to become badly burned. Once the two items make contact on the skin, it starts to hurt immediately with a burning sensation and the "challenge" is to see how long an individual can withstand the pain.
Last year the "salt and ice challenge" made headlines after a 12-year-old Pennsylvania boy was severely burned and hospitalized. He was attending a sleepover with other youths last June and sustained serious injuries to his back after his brother and a friend poured salt on his back, placed ice cubes and applied pressure.
"The injury is similar to frostbite that can result in mild cold injury but it also could increase in severity based on the time the ice is applied," Ariel Aballay, director of the West Penn Burn Center had told the media at the time. "The longer, the more serious the injury. This patient went for a few minutes, but there have been cases that went for six or seven minutes that resulted in third-degree injuries."
The so-called "salt and ice challenge" is a dangerous activity. While the trend dates back to as early as 2006, as Helium reported last summer, it became an Internet meme last year, which further highlighted this very dangerous activity.
Numerous accounts of teens playing this challenge have showed up on YouTube over the past year. Sadly, the trend appears to continue in 2013, despite the numerous warnings that have been given to parents, educators and caregivers over the last several months by experts and highlighted in media reports.
Sadly, in this case, it appears a caregiver was the individual responsible for causing the 9-year-old child's burns.
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