Health

'Hot Water Challenge' leaves Indiana teen severely burned

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INDIANAPOLIS —

The so-called “Hot Water Challenge” involves drinking boiling water, or pouring it on a friend.

It’s already killed a child in Florida and more recently, it left an Indianapolis teen with skin peeling off his body, reports WXIN.

He can joke now, but 15-year-old Kyland Clark is still wearing the scars of a dangerous internet challenge gone wrong.

“The situation is here, so you can’t like really just not deal with it,” he said.

Kyland said last week, he and his friend were looking up the Hot Water Challenge on Youtube. When he fell asleep, he said his friend heated up some water and poured it on him. It was supposed to be a joke.

“When I came to my senses, the water got hot and I just got up and ripped my shirt off,” Kyland said.

Kyland ran to a bathroom to try and escape the pain.

“And then, like, I looked down at my chest, and my skin just fell off my chest, and then I went and I looked in a mirror and then I had skin falling off right here and on my face,” he said.

When the damage was done Kyland suffered second-degree burns on his back, chest and face and putting him in the hospital for a week. For his mother Andrea, it was one of her worst nightmares.

“To see my baby, all burnt up like that … it’s heart-breaking,” Andrea Clark said.

Doctors with IU Health said they’re starting to see more of these so-called internet challenges land people in the emergency room.

“And, 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, EMS director at Methodist Hospital.

In the case of the hot water challenge, Dr. Ed Bartkus says it’s possible to end up with permanent disfigurement due to burns or, if someone swallows the hot water, burns to the airway that could cause them to close, resulting in death.

“If your friends are telling you to do this, they are not good friends,” Dr. Bartkus.

Thoughts echoed by Kyland and Andrea Clark, who say, for now, they’re just glad Kyland is on the road to recovery.

“It could have been worse. My son could have died,” Andrea Clark said.

“There’s a limit to what you should do in a challenge and what you shouldn’t do. Don’t take it overboard,” Kyland said.

Kyland’s doctors say he should heal. They say his pigment should be back to normal in a few months.

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