There's a completely ridiculous and very dangerous new trend called the 'Hot Water Challenge'
The internet has seen its fair share of bizarre and dangerous challenges over the years. Some of them, such as the Ice Bucket Challenge or No Make-Up Selfie trend, were a force for good, and helped to raise money for important causes. Others, however, have just been downright stupid.
Just this year, in fact, dozens of people - usually younger individuals - have had to seek medical help after participating in the Tide Pod Challenge, the Condom Challenge, and a whole host of other insane internet crazes... but they don't seem to be learning from their mistakes.
On the contrary: just as one idiotic challenge dies out, another seems to rise from the ashes in order to take its place. And this time around, it's The Hot Water Challenge.
As the name implies, The Hot Water Challenge involves - wait for it - hot water. More specifically, it involves a person pouring hot water on themself or another person, or drinking it through a straw.
Hmm, what could go wrong?
Well, to put it simply: a lot. Since the challenge first started making the rounds on social media early last year, a number of children around the ages of 10 and 11 have been hospitalised as a result of participating, and - in one tragic incident - a young girl from Florida actually died after being dared to drink hot water through a straw.
Ki’ari Pope, who was just eight years old when her cousin encouraged her to do the challenge, had chronic respiratory problems and was left unable to talk after swallowing scalding hot water in March 2017. Five months later, she eventually succumbed to her injuries after having difficulty breathing.
Unfortunately, her death did not stop others from trying the challenge.
Just in the past couple of weeks, 15-year-old Kyland Clark was left with second-degree burns after some friends of his threw boiling water over him as he slept. "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," Clark recalls.
The teen was rushed to hospital, where he had to stay for a week in order to receive treatment.
"To see my baby, all burned up like that, it was heartbreaking," said Andrea Clark, Kyland's mother.
Thankfully, the boy's injuries did not turn out to be life-threatening - but he will still suffer the consequences for a very long time.
"There's a limit to what you should do in a challenge and what you shouldn't," Clark advised. "Don't take it overboard."
Really, the only advice we can give on The Hot Water Challenge is "don't do it". Like so many other internet fads, they can wind up having severe consequences - especially for younger children who do not understand the risks and dangers of certain substances.
What's more, if you see or hear someone talking about participating in the challenge (or any other crazy internet dare), let them know how needlessly stupid it is - otherwise, we may see many more injuries occurring.