Scary Trend: Kids Pour Scalding Water on Their Friends in 'Hot Water Challenge'
If you thought the salt and ice challenge was bad, there's another new and dangerous trend currently taking over social media that you need to know about.
It's called the "Hot Water Challenge"—check out these videos on YouTube—and it's basically one of the dumbest and scariest stunts your kids could take on, since it basically involves pouring boiling water on their unsuspecting friends, or daring them to chug it through a straw.
We wish we were joking. And if it sounds terrifying, that's because it is. Not only have several kids ended up with life-threatening burns, but the practice has already resulted in at least one death.
11-year-old Jamoneisha Merritt was badly burned when friends poured hot water on her face while she slept. 10-year-old Wesley Smith now needs skin grafts after he and his stepbrother attempted the challenge. And last month, 8-year-old Ki'ari Pope died after receiving a tracheotomy and suffering enduring respiratory problems thanks to her cousin's dare to drink boiling water through a straw.
Seriously, guys? This is just horrifying. We get that it's hard to watch your kids every second of the day. And sadly, YouTube has never done a good job of policing horrifying challenge videos and taking them down. Call it peer pressure or just plain old curiosity, but the more stunt videos kids see, the more prone they are to try and recreate them.
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"Parents, talk to your kids about these challenges," Pope's aunt Diane Johnson told a CBS affiliate in Boytin Beach, FL. "Don't just give them your phone and let them go. Watch what they are doing."
She's right. It's time for all of us to sit down with our children and explain the dangers of engaging in any type of social media challenge. Because while abstaining may seem like a no-brainer to us grownups, our kids are clearly in need of a little more guidance.