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What You Need to Know Before Accepting an Ice Challenge

Cold Water Challenge

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - It's a challenge that has gone viral. It's known as "The Cold Water Challenge," but could this latest trend be harmful to your health?

"My initial thoughts on the ice challenge is that it is for a very good charitable cause, however there are some significant cardiovascular risk that people are taking on when they do this," said Dr. Daniel Jurewitz, Santa Barbara cardiologist.

This is how an Ice Water Challenge works:

An individual is nominated to take the challenge then they have 24 hours to complete the challenge or pay $100 to a charity of choice. To complete the challenge the video needs to be posted on Facebook or YouTube then the person who gets dunked nominates five more friends to keep the challenge moving on. This trend started with a single bucket of ice water, but now people are taking it to the extreme submerging their whole body in pools of ice water. This has medical experts concerned.

"There are medical studies that have looked at this that had peoples head emerged in cold water and there does seem to be a very significant reaction when the head is submerged. It causes the heart rate to suddenly decrease. It can throw the heart out of rhythm and in some very drastic cases can cause cardiac arrest," said Jurewitz.

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