Viral ‘Hot Water Challenge’ Leaves Teen with Severe Burns to His Face, Body

Hot Water Challenge

Kyland Clark said he and a friend were watching videos of the “Hot Water Challenge” before he was doused with water himself. (FOX 59 / Facebook screenshot)

Health experts are warning against a viral internet challenge that left a 15-year-old Indiana boy with second-degree burns to his face and body.

After watching videos of the so-called “Hot Water Challenge” on YouTube last week, Kyland Clark said a friend poured boiling water on him while he slept as part of a prank, according to FOX 59. The teen said he was startled awake, and immediately noticed his injuries.

“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,” he told the news station.

The “challenge,” which consists someone drinking boiling water through a straw or having hot water thrown on them, resulted in Clark suffering severe burns to his back, face and chest. He stayed in the hospital for a week, and though doctors say his pigment will likely return in a few months, they warn the challenge can cause permanent damage and even death.

“It’s suggesting to people that they can try it and they won’t be hurt, but they will be, I can guarantee it,” said Dr. Ed Bartkus. ” … If your friends are telling you to do this, they aren’t good friends.”

Bartkus said folks who attempt the challenge could end up permanently disfigured or suffer burns to their airways. Last summer, a variation of the challenge killed an 8-year-old Florida girl who sipped scalding water through a straw. Meanwhile, an 11-year-old girl in New York suffered burns to her face and chest after her friends also poured hot water on her.

Now, Kyland and his mother say they want to warn others about how dangerous the challenge is.

There’s a limit to what you should do in a challenge and what you shouldn’t,” Clark told Fox 59. “Don’t take it overboard.”

It’s unclear if the family intends to press charges against Clark’s friend.

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