The ‘Hot Water Challenge’ Is Sending Kids to the Hospital, Has Caused at Least One Death

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YouTube challenges are a terrible way to get hurt, but kids keep doing them. Kids bruised their faces with the Kylie Jenner lip challenge and gave themselves third-degree burns with the salt and ice challenge. People even died doing the cinnamon challenge. Now kids are risking serious injury and death with a terrible “hot water challenge” going around  YouTube.

According to Time, the hot water challenge involves surprising one’s friends by throwing boiling hot water on them. In some, people are reportedly trying to drink scalding hot water. Several children have been seriously injured, and one little girl even died from the hot water challenge.

Kids are really doing the hot water challenge.

On Monday, 11-year-old Jamoneisha Merritt suffered severe burns and was hospitalized. Her friends poured boiling water over her face at a sleepover. She’s in extreme pain, and likely permanently disfigured.

That was just days after a 10-year-old boy in North Carolina was hospitalized with third-degree burns after pouring boiling water on himself. He and his stepbrother saw a hot water challenge video on YouTube and decided to try it themselves.

“When we got to the hospital and I actually seen it, I thought the poor boy had been through a war,” his stepfather told CBS.

8-year-old Ki’ari Pope from Florida died this month. In March she drank boiling water through a straw. An 8-year-old cousin dared her to do it after reportedly seeing someone do it on YouTube. The boiling water caused extreme burns. Pope needed a tracheotomy, and the burns caused the serious respiratory problems that killed her this month.


Throwing boiling water on someone is clearly one of the dumbest and cruelest things a person can do. It’s bewildering that anyone, even an 8-year-old, would think this was OK, but if they see someone do it–or pretend to do it–on YouTube, they might think it’s something that can actually be done.

These terrible challenges don’t seem like they’re going to go away. We do have to keep an eye on what our kids are watching on YouTube. And we also need to make sure kids understand these challenges aren’t actually keys to becoming famous. They’re just stupid pranks that can be extremely dangerous.

(Image: iStockPhoto / jacktherabbit)