WTF?! Are Internet challenges becoming more dangerous and stupid? Judging by one “prank,” yes, definitely. The so-called Hot Water challenge consists of either throwing freshly boiled water over someone while they are sleeping, or drinking it through a straw.
The Tide Pod challenge from earlier this year, which involved YouTubers and members of the public videoing themselves consuming the detergent-filled pods, was pretty high on the danger/stupidity scale. Then came the Drake-inspired Kiki Challenge. A viral trend that sees people dancing alongside a moving car—something so potentially dangerous that police have warned participants they may face criminal charges.
The Hot Water challenge, however, is on a different level. Several children have suffered serious burns as the result of people trying out the ‘game’ after looking it up on YouTube, and one died after drinking the boiling liquid.
As reported by Fox 59, a 15-year-old Indianapolis boy suffered second degree burns on his back, chest, and face when his friend poured the water on him as he slept. The pair had been looking up the challenge and he decided to try it out as a joke.
“And then I looked down at my chest. My skin just fell off my chest, and then I looked in the mirror, and I had skin falling off here and on my face,” said Kyland Clark.
Other children, including an 11-year-old from the Bronx and ten-year-old from North Carolina, have also suffered burns from having hot water poured on them. In March last year, an 8-year-old girl died after her cousin, who is the same age, dared her to drink the boiling liquid. The pair had also reportedly been watching the challenge on YouTube.
While there haven’t been a huge number of reported incidents of people participating in the Hot Water challenge, it’s still a worrying phenomenon. While most people would know not to try anything like this, children, especially those of a very young age, sometimes copy what they see online without being aware of the dangers.