4th February 2020

Science Belfast: Boy burned in online copycat stunt

Science Belfast: Boy burned in online copycat stunt


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Dale was treated in hospital for burns to his face and head

A Belfast mother has warned of the dangers of copying online stunt videos after her son was badly burned.

Her 10-year-old boy, Dale, suffered facial burns after copying a stunt that he had seen on YouTube.

“He was running round the park frantic. His whole face was all burnt. His coat had been all burnt and it had melted,” his mother, Deborah, said.

“He was screaming his head off saying: ‘Mummy, please somebody help me, please somebody help me. I’m going to die’.”

Warning: Graphic image below

Deborah said she later found out that Dale and his friends had been trying to re-enact a stunt video they had seen.

Along with three of his friends, he had gone to the local park and found a petrol can in the bushes.

There was a lighter inside and then they got a bottle of deodorant.

“So there they are concocting a wee science trick,” she said.

“Got the deodorant bottle, sprayed it into the petrol can. Now the petrol can was empty, so they sprayed it into the petrol can, he leaned over the petrol can with the lighter and lit it.

“The flame circled inside, they told me it was like a tornado and the flame came out and melted his whole face and coat.”

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Dale’s coat caught fire in the stunt

Dale was treated in hospital for facial burns and was extremely shocked and frightened by what happened, she said.

He has told his mother that he would never again try any stunt like that.

Now she has posted the photographs of her son in hospital and his burned coat as a warning to other parents about what can happen when children try to copy stunt videos.

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Dale, 10, suffered facial burns when he caught fire as he tried to copy a stunt video

“In the videos, the people are doing it and they know what they’re doing, so they make it look so easy,” she said.

“I had to put it on Facebook to make people aware.

“It’s so dangerous, boys are inquisitive at the best of times. But because of the internet, they’re seeing a lot more stuff at a younger age.

“Parents don’t have any clue what their kids are looking at.”

YouTube has been contacted for a response.


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