Indiana Teen Hospitalized With Second Degree Burns After ‘Hot Water Challenge’

Ambulance pulling away from hospital (blurred motion)

Social media’s “Hot Water Challenge” was way too hot for one 15-year-old boy, who ended up hospitalized for a week with second-degree burns to his face and body.

Fifteen-year-old Kyland Clark was sound asleep when a friend doused him with scalding water, leaving the teenager seriously injured. Earlier, they had been watching videos of the “Hot Water Challenge,” another inane viral video trend in which people engage in dangerous behavior.

This prank, which has been popping up on social media over the past few years, usually involves throwing boiling or scalding water over oneself or an unsuspecting victim.

After Kyland fell asleep on the couch, his friend used a microwave to heat a container of water, then poured it over Kyland’s body.

“Like he didn’t know that this was gonna be the outcome,” the bandaged high school student told Monday. “I mean, it was out of the microwave, so I don’t think he thought that the water could be that much damage coming out of the microwave.”

“Like usually, somebody just wakes up and their eye like burns. But they’re … it’s OK.”

Far from OK, Kyland ended up hospitalized for seven days with burns on his face, chest, back, neck and arms. His skin was falling off in patches and he was swathed in bandages.

Kyland had been sleeping over at his friend’s house. The boys were looking at videos of the challenge, which have been turning up on social media intermittently over the past few years.

The stunt has had serious consequences. An 8-year-old girl died in 2017 after her cousin told her to drink boiling water through a straw. An 11-year-old girl’s face was severely burned when boiling water was poured on her during a sleepover in New York.

Kyland’s mom, Andrea, was notified by telephone that her son’s hand had been injured. “When I got to the hospital, I was seeing something different,” she said of Kyland’s heavily bandaged body. “I was all over the place.”

“At times I ask myself, ‘Why?’ and, ‘What were they thinking?’ But I mean, I love them the same,” she said of her son and his friend. “They’re typical teenagers.”

She wishes they had been a bit smarter, she says, “but it could have been worse.”

Kyland will be out of school for a while, and the pigment in his skin will eventually return. He is recovering well, he said, and mostly feels OK.

“He won’t do another challenge, another prank, another nothin’,” his mom declared.

And his friend is still his friend, Kyland said.

“He stayed up there at the hospital with me every day and calls me every day,” Kyland said. “He checks on me, he comes over on the weekends when he’s not in school and stuff like that.”

He added: “I know it wasn’t on purpose.”

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