INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — An Indianapolis family is raising a red flag about the so-called “Hot Water Challenge” after the dangerous prank resulted in a 15-year-old being severely burned.
The “challenge,” which made national headlines last year and has been circulating online since at least 2014, consists of someone either drinking boiling water through a straw, or having the water poured on them.
Last week, Kyland Clark says he and a friend were looking up the challenge on YouTube when they decided to prank each other. While Kyland was sleeping, he says a friend poured water on him 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,” Kyland told WXIN.
The prank resulted in Kyland suffering second-degree burns on his back, chest and face. He had to stay in the hospital for a week while undergoing treatment.
“To see my baby, all burned up like that, it was heartbreaking,” his mother Andrea said.
Doctors with IU Health say they’re starting to see more of these so-called internet challenges land people in the emergency room.
“It’s suggesting to people that they can try it and they won’t be hurt, but they will be, I can guarantee it,” Dr. Ed Bartkus said.
BartKus says it’s possible that people who do the challenge could end up with permanent disfigurement due to burns on the body or burns to the airway that could result in death. Last year, an 8-year-old died in Florida after attempting the challenge.
“If you’re friends are telling you to do this, they aren’t good friends,” he said.
Now Kyland and his mother say they want to make it known how dangerous the challenge is.
“There’s a limit to what you should do in a challenge and what you shouldn’t. Don’t take it overboard,” Kyland said.
Kyland is expected to heal from his injuries, and doctors say his pigment should return in a few months. He starts school next week but his mother says for now, the plan is for him to stay at home and focus on healing.