A dangerous trend, made popular by social media users, has severely injured multiple children and killed at least one of them.
“The Hot Water Challenge” asks participants to take a container of hot, boiling water and throw it on an unsuspecting person or drink it. According to an article by TIME, it’s often spurred by YouTube videos.
The dangerous dare appears to stretch back since as early as 2015, but it seems to be growing more so recently due to its continuous exposure. It’s one of many dangerous social trends that are harming children.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Videos on YouTube Show People Acting Out the Hot Water Dare
The “Hot Water Challenge” appears to have originated a few years ago, but has spread widely in popularity in large part because of social media shares. One video, posted to YouTube in 2015, shows a female at a stove top appearing to boil a pot of water.
“Hot water challenge, ya’ll,” she says, before the video cuts to her outside sneaking up on her brother, who’s talking to a friend by a car, with the pot of water.
Although the authenticity of the video is unknown, the woman runs up and throws the pot of water on the man’s back, resulting in him screaming and falling to the ground in pain. The video shows photos of the aftermath, which are several severe burns on his back.
2. A Florida Girl Died After Drinking Boiling Water Through a Straw
The one child that’s died from the challenge was 8-year-old Ki’ari Pope from Boynton Beach, Florida.
According to the Palm Beach Post, Pope died months after she was injured from drinking boiling water out of a straw in March. She received treatment following the incident, receiving a tracheotomy, an incision in her windpipe. The procedure left her deaf and led to respiratory problems in the months that followed.
All seemed well months after the medical procedure until late July, when she told her mother that she couldn’t breathe. Just minutes later, she was unresponsive and was rushed to the hospital. She was pronounced dead at the medical facility upon arrival.
The family launched a GoFundMe page in an attempt to raise money for funeral expenses.
On the GoFundMe page, it said that Pope was “dared to drink hot boiling water by a cousin that was the same as as her, they (saw) a video from YouTube.”
3. An 11-Year Old Suffered Severe Burns in New York After a Friend Threw Boiling Water on Her
On August 7, an 11-year-old New York City girl was admitted into Harlem Hospital’s burn center after she suffered severe burns to her face and upper body.
Jamoneisha Merritt was reportedly sleeping at a friend’s house in the Bronx when her 12-year-old friend woke her up by dousing her with a cup of boiling water.
Police sources told the New York Daily News that the incident happened while Merritt attended a sleepover at an apartment home near Findlay Avenue and East 166th Street in the Bronx on August 7.
According to police, Merritt was warned by her friend, Aniya Grant Stuart, to not to go to sleep that night or risk something happening to her.
When Merritt ended up falling asleep on couch in the living room, she was awoken around 4 a.m. to extreme pain on her face and chest. Stuart had just poured a cup of boiling water onto her, and she was “jolted awake” and was immediately in extreme pain.
There was an adult home at the time of the incident, and Meritt was rushed to hospital, where she’s currently being treated and has been diagnosed with second-degree burns to her face, back, shoulders, neck and chest.
4. Boiling Water Takes Just Seconds to Cause 3rd-Degree Burns
Hot liquids burn skin like fire would, according to the Burn Foundation, and scalds are considered the No. 1 cause of burn injury to children under the age of 4.
“When tap water reaches 140º F, it can cause a third degree (full thickness) burn in just five seconds,” the Burn Foundation notes.
Third-degree burns can be caused in just one second from liquids that register at 156 degrees Fahrenheit.
Primarily, burns to children have been caused by giving baths to children in water at too high of a temperature, but the “Hot Water Challenge” has led to dangerous curiosity with children.
It’s led to parents and organizations around the nation urging parents to monitor their childrens’ activity online.
5. The ‘Hot Water Challenge’ Is Another in a Line of Dangerous Social Trends
The “Hot Water Challenge” is just one of a few dangerous social trends making their way through the internet.
In July, one called the “Blue Whale Challenge” encouraged preteens and teens to physically harm themselves. At least two teens were believed to have committed suicide as a direct result of the dare.
The “challenge” lasts 50 days, and each day the participant is asked to complete a task. There are some variances in the tasks, but most are pretty similar and end with a suicide attempt.
Every time you complete a task, a participant is asked to send photographic or video evidence of completion. Here’s a list of the 50 tasks.
1. Carve with a razor “f57” on your hand, send a photo to the curator.
2. Wake up at 4.20 a.m. and watch psychedelic and scary videos that curator sends you.
3. Cut your arm with a razor along your veins, but not too deep, only 3 cuts, send a photo to the curator.
4. Draw a whale on a sheet of paper, send a photo to curator.
5. If you are ready to “become a whale”, carve “YES” on your leg. If not– cut yourself many times (punish yourself)
6. Task with a cipher.
7. Carve “f40” on your hand, send a photo to curator.
8. Type “#i_am_whale (rus. #я_кит) in your VKontakte status.
9. You have to overcome your fear.
10. Wake up at 4:20 a.m. and go to a roof (the higher the better)
11. Carve a whale on your hand with a razor, send a photo to curator.
12. Watch psychedelic and horror videos all day.
13. Listen to music that “they” (curators) send you.
14. Cut your lip
15. Poke your hand with a needle many times
16. Do something painful to yourself, make yourself sick
17. Go to the highest roof you can find, stand on the edge for some time.
18. Go to a bridge, stand on the edge
19. Climb up a crane or at least try to do it
20. The curator checks if you are trustworthy
21. Have a talk “with a whale” (with another player like you or with a curator) in Skype
22. Go to a roof and sit on the edge with your legs dangling
23. Another task with a cipher.
24. Secret task
25. Have a meeting with a “whale”
26. The curator tells you the date of your death and you have to accept it
27. Wake up at 4:20 a.m. and go to rails (visit any railroad that you can find)
28. Don’t talk to anyone all day
29. Make a vow that “you’re a whale”
30-49. Everyday you wake up at 4:20 a.m., watch horror videos, listen to music that “they” send you, make 1 cut on your body per day, talk “to a whale.”
50. Jump off a high building. Take your life.