Doctor Warns Parents Against Latest Online Fad: ‘Hot Water Challenge’

The Internet has brought many great things with it, from knowledge accessibility to the possibility of connecting with people from all around the world. But as with all good things, it too has its many negative features. We saw the harmfulness of virality in a brand new Internet challenge that has been circulating social media platforms – one we can’t even believe so many people are choosing to take part in. This challenge is known as the Hot Water Challenge, or #hotwaterchallenge – a direct opposite of the much less harmful ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, which as at least for a good cause. Kyland Clark, a 15-year-old teenager from Indianapolis, took part in this challenge. The challenge involved daring people to take videos of themselves pouring a large amount of hot water onto themselves or onto others. Some variations of the challenge involve drinking hot water quickly through a straw. Clark and a friend of his had been looking up videos of the challenge online. There’s no shortage of them to be found, be it on YouTube, Instagram, or Twitter, though it’s likely that some of the temperatures of water in these videos are not as hot as they claim to be. After they were done, Clark fell asleep, and his friend decided to prank him with the challenge. It was just a joke, but dousing Clark in water woke him up immediately. To his horror, Clark looked down and saw the skin practically fall off his chest. The skin was also peeling in other parts of his body, including his face and arms. He had to be rushed to the hospital to be treated for second-degree burns on his face, chest, and back. His mother, Andrea, was heartbroken and devastated. A second-degree burn is one that affects the two topmost skin layers, which are known as the dermis and the epidermis, causing severe pain and often resulting in blisters. These burns are the types many take clear steps to avoid, such as turning metal pot and pan handles away from grasping distance, ensuring hot liquids are kept away from corners of tables, and carefully testing bath or tub water before immersing themselves.   Thankfully, Clark is expected to heal from these burns, but this Hot Water Challenge has already resulted in at least one fatality, which happened last year. A girl from Florida named Ki’ari Pope passed away at just eight years old after using a straw to drink boiling hot water – and act she copied from YouTube videos showing this iteration of the challenge. In the event, you accidentally spill hot water on yourself or experience a burn through this manner, turn on some cool running water and allow the water to run over the affected area. You can also use a wet, cool compress to wrap around the spot. However, never use ice or cold water for this purpose as the severe change in temperature can cause worse damage. Once the burned area is cooled off completely, grab a lotion with moisturizing properties and apply it to the area. You should then gently cover the burned spot with a sterile gauze. If you are in pain or discomfort, an over-the-counter painkiller can help you. And please, do not try the Hot Water Challenge!