An Indianapolis, Indiana teenager says he was sleeping last week when his friend poured scalding water on him as a prank, leaving him with second-degree burns, according to FOX 59.
Kyland Clark, 15, said his skin “fell off” his chest and face, the news station reported. The injuries came after he and his friend looked up the “Hot Water Challenge” on YouTube, according to FOX 59.
Here’s the lowdown:
The “Hot Water Challenge” isn’t new
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The “challenge” calls for boiling water to be poured on a friend who typically doesn’t see it coming (some people participate willingly), or drinking boiling water from a straw. That means enduring or consuming water that’s more than 200 degrees. It also involves people posting to social media videos of themselves performing the challenge on an unsuspecting person. The dare reportedly began sometime in 2013 or 2014, according to Mashable. But a slew of shocking cases made headlines last year.
It’s extremely dangerous
If hot coffee or tea can cause an injury, imagine what boiling water can do, according to the Burn Foundation. The nonprofit says tap water that reaches 140 degrees can cause a third-degree burn in seconds. Dr. Ed Bartkus, of IU Health in Indianapolis, told FOX 59 that participants and victims could suffer permanent disfigurement, or die from burns to their airway.
There’s been at least one death as a result of the challenge
An 8-year-old girl from Florida, Ki’ari Pope, died several months after she drank boiling water from a straw after her cousin dared her to participate in the challenge last year, CBS 12 reported. State officials found that Pope suffered burns to her mouth and throat, the news station reported.
Teenagers, and children, have gotten seriously hurt
A 15-year-old boy in Little Rock, Arkansas, was at a sleepover with his high school friends last August when he woke up to the “worst pain” of his life, KTHV reported. One of the boys at the sleepover heated up water in the microwave and poured it on Nickolas Conrad’s neck, his mother told KARK. Conrad reportedly suffered first- and second-degree burns.
Jamoneisha Merritt, 12, was also at a sleepover, in New York City, when a girl threw boiling water on her, Merritt’s family told media outlets. Merritt was hospitalized with second-degree burns, NBC New York reported. The girl accused of throwing the water was charged with felony assault.
Parents have been speaking out
When 10-year-old Wesley Smith suffered second- and third-degree burns while trying to replicate a “Hot Water Challenge” video he saw on YouTube in 2016, his stepfather had a warning for parents: “Watch what your kids are doing on the internet,”Jimmy Daugherty told CBS 17.
Pope’s aunt, Diane Johnson, urged parents to talk to their kids about the challenge, and others that pose dangers, CBS 12 reported. “Don’t just give them your phone and let them go by,” she said. “Watch what they are doing.”