New 'Hot Water Challenge' Kills 8-Year-Old, Leaves 15-Year-Old With Severe Burns


Kids have been known to do some pretty crazy things. Many times, this stems from a desire to impress others or comes as a result of a dare.

In smaller groups, the dares are limited to the creativity of the individuals who make up the group, but the internet has changed all of that.

Now, the world is at our fingertips, and there are audiences wider than any we’ve had before. That means when someone has a challenge and they post it online, thousands of people see it and are tempted to try.

You’ve seen them before: some ridiculous thing with the word “challenge” attached. The cinnamon challenge. The ice and salt challenge.

And now, ladies and gentlemen, we have the “hot water challenge.” And yes, it is exactly what it sounds like.

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Apparently, there are two methods, both of them dangerous and potentially life-threatening. The first is to douse yourself in boiling water, and the second is to drink it through a straw.

These are also viewed as “pranks,” probably because on some level kids know that the human body should not mix with boiling water, but they still want to see what it does without testing it out on themselves.

There have been multiple reports of severely burned children as a result of this fad, but more keep popping up. One 8-year-old girl who drank boiling water through a straw even died from complications resulting from scalding her throat.

The most recent addition to this gruesome list is Kyland Clark. He and a friend had looked up the challenge, and then Kyland made the mistake of falling asleep.

In what he later described as a “joke,” his friend boiled water and then poured it over a sleeping Kyland. But did he just toss it on him? No. It got poured over his face, chest, and shoulders.

Kyland woke up and tried to tear his shirt off. He ran to the tub to get to some cold water, but the damage was already done.

“And then I looked down at my chest,” Kyland said, recounting the incident. “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.”

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His mother was appalled. “To see my baby, all burned up like that, it was heartbreaking,” she said.

One doctor, Ed Bartkus, has seen increasingly more cases like Kyland’s and says that kids can and will try out the idiotic challenge. “It’s suggesting to people that they can try it and they won’t be hurt, but they will be, I can guarantee it,” he warned.

Kids may seem young and innocent, but they can do some pretty thoughtless things that end in tragedy. The photos that have gone out following this incident are serving as a warning to anyone remotely interested in trying this “prank.”

“There’s a limit to what you should do in a challenge and what you shouldn’t,” Kyland said, now fully aware of the challenge’s ramifications. “Don’t take it overboard.”

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking