Jamie Prescott, mum to 15 year old Ellie, has taken to Facebook to warn parents about a worrying new 'challenge' sweeping school playgrounds where students are encouraged to spray deodorant directly on their skin until it blisters and burns. Spraying deodorant 5cm from the skin for just 15 seconds can cause the skin's temperature to drop by more than 60°c, giving you frostbite in the affected area. For Ellie, the challenge damaged her arm so badly that she might even need a skin graft for her severe burns. Jamie was concerned that other parents might not have heard about the dangerous craze, so she posted the family's story on Facebook to warn of the dangers.
Jamie wrote: "I seldom rarely do this, but on this occasion, I would like this post spread wide and far. For any parents who have children, please, please sit them down and show them these pictures. These are the damaging results of something known as 'The Deodorant Challenge' which is currently doing the rounds in Yate and literally involves spraying deodorant on to someone else for as long as possible. It's that simple and results in severe secondary burns. The pictures below are that of my Year 10 daughter's arm THREE WEEKS ON which may still as yet require a skin graft."
The post has been shared thousands of times by concerned parents, who have praised Jamie for bringing it to their attention and sat down to talk to their children about how dangerous the challenge can be. One user wrote: "Thanks for sharing. This is the sort of thing my middle son would do! Will be showing him tomorrow! ! I hope your daughter improves soon." Speaking to Somerset Live two weeks after the incident, Jamie updated the internet on how her daughter was coping, saying: "She still regularly has to see a practice nurse and go to the surgery once a week. The incident happened on Tuesday (April 18), but I did not notice anything until she came home from school on the Wednesday as it had blistered up a lot by that stage. As you can see from the yellow padding, it is still weeping excessively."
The incident apparently took place at a local park when Ellie met up with some old friends from her previous school - "She went out and met with them... for a couple of hours. Apparently, when they asked her to put out her arm she did it but she had no idea of the consequences and hadn't even heard of The Deodorant Challenge before that point. Since then other children have asked her what is wrong with her arm and when she has told them, they have then replied that they have also had it done to them and showed her their scars." Though many children may have already been affected, Jamie hopes to stop any others from doing the same thing and admits that though she's wary of the limelight she thinks its worth it to put a stop to the challenge.
"Even if we can prevent just one more child from going through this, it will be worth it."