An Indiana teen is speaking out after a viral social media challenge left him with second-degree burns on his face, back and chest.
Kyland Clark, 15, told WXIN that he and his friend were looking up the so-called “Hot Water Challenge” on YouTube last week. The challenge involves drinking boiling water through a straw or pouring the boiling water on a friend. Clark said he fell asleep, and that’s when his friend heated up some water and dumped it on him.
“When I came to my senses, the water got hot and I just got up and ripped my shirt off,” Clark said. “I looked down at my chest and my skin just fell off my chest and then I went and looked in a mirror and I had skin falling off right here and on my face.
The challenge left Clark with second-degree burns on his face, back and chest and he spent a week in the hospital.
“To see my baby all burnt up like that, it was heartbreaking,” Clark’s mother, Andrea Clark, said.
One child died last year after drinking boiling water as part of the Hot Water Challenge, and doctors say they are seeing more and more patients coming to the emergency department because of viral internet challenges.
“It’s suggesting to people that they can try it and they won’t be hurt, but they will be. I can guarantee it,” Dr. Ed Bartkus, the EMS director at Clarian Methodist Hospital, told WXIN.
Bartkus said the Hot Water Challenge can lead to permanent disfigurement from burns and even death. Swallowing boiling water can lead to burns that cause a person’s airway to close, resulting in death.
“If your friends are telling you to do this, they are not good friends,” Bartkus said.
Clark is expected to make a full recovery in a few months, but he is warning other teens about participating in viral challenges.
“There’s a limit to what you should do in a challenge and what you shouldn’t do,” he said. “Don’t take it overboard.”