Jason Cleary, of Dearborn Heights, was playing with a friend on Sept. 28 when his mother, Tabitha Cleary, heard screaming.
“So we came running out. That’s when we saw his friend Bryce riding him on the bike with no shirt on,” Cleary told WDIV-TV. “I start to freak out. ‘Take him to the hospital, take him to the hospital.’ I’m crying. He’s crying.”
She said the 12-year-old boy suffered burns on his chin, chest and stomach after he was sprayed with nail polish remover and lit on fire — part of a so-called “social media challenge” in which children light each other on fire.
Jason told the news outlet the first time he was set on fire, the flame “was little, and they swatted if off.” But on the second time, “they kept spraying it (nail polish remover) on me.”
Her mother told WJBK at the time that the girl was hanging out with two friends at her house when she became “engulfed in flames” after apparently mimicking a video she saw on YouTube.
Another child, 13-year-old Miyah Landers, was also burned around the same time, after accidentally being lit on fire by a friend.
Jason’s mother is trying to warn parents about such challenges — and urging them to monitor their children.
“I just want everybody to know that these challenges, or whatever they are watching on YouTube, is not worth your risking your life,” Cleary said. “I mean, my son got burns second-degree and could have been way, way worse.”