A boy from New Hampshire suffers a bad burn after imitating a YouTube stunt — and now his mother has spoken up and recounted the child’s ordeal to forewarn other parents.
Tashia Ditucci recalled being shaken awake last Monday morning by “god-awful bloodcurdling cries and screams.”
“My son came downstairs and he was just really red, you could see burns all over him,” the mother of 8-year-old James said.
While on a sleepover with his elder brother and cousin, James experienced second-degree burns to around 15 percent of his body. According to Ditucci, the children watched a YouTube video showing someone covering his hands in sanitizer and then setting them on fire.
When the boy reenacted the scene, the sanitizer caught his shirt and the fire rapidly spread. The older kids went to put the fire out.
Ditucci warned that children are unaware of the consequences of such actions — including imitating the stuff they see online — and now her son proves to be an example of “what can and will go wrong.”
Alcohol has the ability to burn blue, and the purer ones get even clearer and one might not see it at all, according to Merrimack Fire Dept assistant chief Brian Borneman, adding that the misfortunate situation James is in could have been worse.
The boy is now undergoing treatment at a hospital in Boston, and the doctors, according to Ditucci, remain optimistic that he will recover well. The specialists told her that if James was on fire for another minute, he would have been lifeless by now as the fire probably has smothered his lungs.
She mourned that it will take a long time for the boy and the rest of the family to heal.
The YouTube Effect On Kids And Teens
Doctors also recently warned against the do-it-yourself toy slime, the subject of many videos popping up on YouTube these days, and its potentially unsafe ingredient.
YouTube enjoys a following of over 1 billion users, and most of these are teenagers. In a study published early last year, teens were found to be increasingly exposed to different music videos featuring alcohol and cigarettes, which could lead to a greater risk of developing the habit.
Researchers found that teens, particularly young girls, are easily enticed to smoke cigarettes because of what they see or watch. Recent statistics from the World Health Organization showed that around one in five of teens ages 13 to 15 smokes.
Back in 2015, YouTube rolled out updates to its child-focused YouTube Kids service to allow parents to retain more control over the content that their children can access. Since its release February of that year, the app had been downloaded millions of times but was also subjected to criticism and a complaint by the Federal Trade Commission regarding its search feature.
Back then, the leading video site reminded that “no system is perfect,” highlighting the need for parents themselves to flag videos they see on the service as a cause for concern. YouTube filters these videos through human review, user input, and algorithmic filtering.