Parents Beware: The Viral Challenge That's Been Sending Kids To The Hospital Is Back

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Parents Beware: The Viral Challenge That's Been Sending Kids To The Hospital Is Back

Is it just me or are kids these days getting dumber and dumber?

Of course, as teens, we have all made some decisions we regret now, but I don't think anything compares to the dangerous challenges that the youth are taking on these days.

Over the last couple of years, there's been a social media trend where kids have been taking part in dares that not only have horrible consequences on their health, some of them turn deadly.

The Tide Pod challenge, the Kylie Jenner lip challenge and the ghost pepper challenge are just a few of many dangerous dares that kids have attempted just to achieve viral fame.

A teen doing the "Tide Pod Challenge"PJ Media

Just when you thought things couldn't get any worse, another awful challenge comes along.

15-year-old Kyland Clark was hospitalized at the end of June to treat the second-degree burns to his face and body after his friends allegedly poured boiling water on him while he was sleeping.

Why did they do it? They did it as a joke after they watched YouTube videos of the "Hot Water Challenge" together.

"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," the teen told Fox 59.

Thankfully, he didn't succumb to this injuries, but he has a long healing process ahead and may end up with permanent scars.

Dr. Ed Bartkus from Indiana University Health told the news that in addition to permanent disfigurement, the burns could "damage the airway."

"If your friends are telling you to do this, they aren't good friends," Bartkus added.

Unfortunately, Clark isn't the first victim of his awful challenge.

In 2017, an 11-year-old Jamoneisha Merritt, was left with severe burns to her face and neck after another girl poured boiling water over her while she was asleep at a friend's house in Bronx, New York.

"I was told that they didn't like her," her mother explained, "and they just been bullying her. They've been on Snapchat. It's been going on several times. The girl admitted it. 'I don't like her. I wanted to do it.'"

Prior to that, a 10-year-old boy named Wesley Smith suffered second and third-degree burns after he and his stepbrother took part in the challenge. At the time, doctors said he would need skin graft surgery to repair the damage to his body.

While all of these kids survived, eight-year-old Ki'ari Pope did not. The Florida girl was dared by her cousin to drink boiling water through a straw, which led to some serious complications that required her to undergo emergency surgery.

The procedure was done to clear the scar tissue on her windpipe so she could breathe and talk, but a few months later, she passed away.

After these incidents, the 16-year-old who created the challenge released a statement saying that his original video was fake and the water he poured over himself in the video was not hot at all.

"THIS IS FAKE," he wrote in the caption of the video. "The water I dumped on myself was pool water and the sizzling noise was a sound effect I edited. I made this video when I was 16 years old in 2014 when literally EVERYONE was doing the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge."

He continued, "I thought it would be funny to add some satire to the epidemic that was social media trends. Clearly, some people did not realize this, and today in 2017, kids are dumping boiling hot water on each other. I had no intention of influencing anyone or condoning this "˜hot water challenge.'"

At the time, a Canada-based parenting expert, Julie Romanowski, warned that these types of challenges weren't "going to stop anytime soon," and she was right. Not only did the hot water challenge make a comeback this summer, new social media trends, like the "In My Feelings Challenge" where people jump out of moving cars to dance to a Drake song, have since cropped up.

Romanowski suggested that "parents need to take a proactive approach to teaching kids how to manage it." She added, "Kids need to be validated through likes and views, and unfortunately, there is no moral code with technology. Parents need to do more than just manage the content their kids are viewing. They also need to know how their child is using technology and whether there's an addiction forming."

Hopefully, the news reports about the negative effects these challenges have had on some people will be enough to deter teens from taking part in them.

Let's share these warnings with parents and teens so no one else gets hurt.

If you'd like to know more about these social media challenges, here's a good read:

12 Dumbest Internet Challenges That Will Make You Lose Faith In Humanity

Blair isn't a bestselling author, but she has a knack for beautiful prose. When she isn't writing for Shared, she enjoys listening to podcasts.