Teens seem to be inventing all sorts of dangerous challenges these days. First we had the Tide Pod Challenge, then it was condom snorting and juuling, and now? Teens are pouring boiling hot water on themselves and others. Honestly, we can’t make this up.
It’s called the “Hot Water Challenge,” and the rules are simple (yet ridiculous, and terribly, terribly dangerous): You either throw boiling hot water on someone or have someone drink the hot water through a straw. Some teens are even pouring hot water on themselves for…well, we’re not quite sure why. It started on YouTube and has only been growing and getting more and more popular.
The problem with this “challenge,” and many others, is that when your skin comes into contact with water that hot, you’re risking serious injury, including second-degree and third-degree burns.
“Second-degree burns are often painful and cause blisters,” says Reed Caldwell, M.D., assistant professor at the Ronald O. Perelman Department of Emergency Medicine at NYU Langone Health. “Third-degree burns are when the skin is either very pale and thick-looking, or actually has muscle, fat, or bone showing.”
A 15-year-old name Kyland Clark was recently sent to the hospital when a friend of his poured hot water on his body as a joke while he was sleeping. He was in so much pain that he got up as quickly as he could and ran to the bathroom. He said he could pretty much see his skin falling off at that point.
Kyland landed himself in the hospital for an entire week and suffered severe second-degree burns on his back, chest, and face.
Additionally, people who drink the boiling hot water risk burning their airway, causing it to close, which could result in death. Tragically, this happened in the case of 8-year-old Ki’ari Pope of Florida, who died several months after her cousin dared her to do the straw version of the Hot Water Challenge. This occurred last August, when the challenge erupted on YouTube and several other young kids (as young as 10 and 11) were hospitalized after trying it out.
“It’s suggesting to people that they could try it and maybe they won’t be hurt, but they will be, I can guarantee it,” says Dr. Ed Bartkus, EMS Director at Methodist Hospital in Indiana in an interview about the Hot Water Challenge. “If your friends are telling you to do this, they are not good friends.”
Experts say it’s possible to end up with permanent damage due to burns like these, but the good news is that Kyland is set to recover from his injuries.
He does have some words of wisdom for those wanting to try it: “There’s a limit to what you should do in a challenge and what you shouldn’t. Don’t take it overboard,” he said.
If you’re thinking about participating in this challenge, don’t. No good can come of pouring hot water on anyone, yourself included.
For an interview with Kyland himself, as well as further information on why the Hot Water Challenge is one of the most dangerous pranks out there from experts, check out the video below:
What do you think of this new “challenge” among teens? Do you know anyone who’s been injured after trying out the Hot Water Challenge?