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 Monday morning 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’s very sad,” the mother, Ebony Merritt, told NY1. “She’s emotionally messed up. She doesn’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.
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 Monday 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.” Ki’ari’s wake will take place tomorrow and her funeral is on Saturday. 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.