Parents, be warned, there’s a new trend young kids are trying, and to be blunt, it’s not safe. It’s called the “Hot Water Challenge,” where children dare each other to consume it or douse each other in it. The horrifying activity is allegedly inspired by YouTube videos, and no person, let alone a child, should be partaking in it.
Jamoneisha Merritt, an 11 year old from the Bronx, New York, was admitted two weeks ago to Harlem Hospital with second-degree burns to her face, neck, shoulders and chest, NY1 reports. The girl’s 12 year old friend had poured boiling water on her during a sleepover. “She was very sad,” the mother, Ebony Merritt, told NY1. “She was emotionally messed up. She didn’t understand why they did that to her. She thought they were her friends.”
Kids used to play harmless pranks at sleepovers — stash bras in the freezer, spray silly string, submerge someone’s hand in warm water in the hopes that they’d wet themselves, but the Hot Water Challenge is a dangerous new level. The girl who poured the water on Jamoneisha reportedly admitted that she’d wanted to cause harm. She is facing criminal charges of felony assault.
Fortunately, Jamoneisha is making a remarkable recovery. The 11 year old recently returned home after spending almost two weeks in the hospital, and will likely miss the beginning of the school year as the wounds continue to heal, her mother says. Despite suffering the painful results of a dangerous “prank,” Jamoni is in good spirits. “I’m so great,” she told the Daily News. “Now I’m dancing and listening to music.”
Last July, 10 year old Wesley Smith from North Carolina spent several weeks undergoing surgery in the Winston Salem Burn Center after he and his step-brother attempted the Hot Water Challenge. His burns, WBTV reports, were scalding.
One girl, 8 year old Ki’ari Pope from Boynton Beach, Florida, tragically died just last week due to complications after drinking boiling water through a straw. Back in March, Ki’ari’s cousin had dared her to perform this hazardous act to re-enact a YouTube video they’d seen, the Palm Beach Post reports.
Come September 10, she would have been 9. With burns to Ki’ari’s mouth and throat, the Palm Beach Post reported that the challenge had “left her deaf and with chronic respiratory problems.”
What these children are trying to prove, we don’t know. But for the sake of your kids, watch what they consume on the internet. Be mindful. Stay informed. The Hot Water Challenge is for no one.