Sleepover pranks are a fairly common and mostly fun and harmless part of many people’s childhoods.
Waking up to find a moustache drawn on your face, getting smashed with toothpaste or cake, or finding light objects stacked on your forehead are all silly examples of the pranks many kids pull on each other while the victim is asleep.
But while not particularly dangerous most of the time, when these pranks are mixed with viral Internet challenges, things can go south pretty quickly.
Many of these challenges pose serious risks and may even result in long-term damage for participants.
One of these challenges in the Hot Water Challenge, which has been going viral on YouTube and all sorts of social media platforms.
The Hot Water Challenge involves participants dousing themselves in hot water, throwing hot water on a friend unexpectedly, or even drinking it through a straw.
The problem is that the challenge suggests using boiling hot water, and water only needs to be 140 degrees Fahrenheit to cause third-degree burns.
So far, multiple casualties have come from this challenge. Ki’ari Pope, 8, passed away after drinking boiling water through a straw. She developed chronic respiratory problems and lost her hearing as well, resulting in her hospitalization before she passed away.
Other teens have been hospitalized for being pranked with hot water by their friends, some sustaining first- and second-degree burns on various parts of their bodies, most of which will likely cause permanent scarring.
This teen from Arkansas also wound up in a similar situation. 15-year-old Nickolas Conrad, a student who goes to Sherwood High School, was hanging out with six other friends in one of their homes for a sleepover.
He was the first to fall asleep, so his friends decided to perform the Hot Water Challenge on him. They quickly doused him in the water, which caused him to jerk awake screaming and crying. On his neck, he felt a very overwhelming and terrible burning sensation.
The pain was so bad that Nickolas was unable to get up and was crying in bed for two hours. Finally, he went to get up and go to the bathroom, and he saw what had happened to his neck.
That’s when his friends admitted what they did, claiming they didn’t realize how hot the water had been.
Nickolas is now recovering from the injury. He has to keep the first- and second-degree burns, which cover most of his neck, covered most times to prevent infection.
He also has a small burn on his arm from water splatter. He wants to make sure that other kids don’t ever consider doing this to themselves or others.
Nickolas is no longer friends with the boys who did this to him, saying that the event opened his eyes and made him realize that they had never acted like real friends with him.
Meanwhile, his mother urges other parents to speak to their kids about the dangers of many of these Internet challenges to avoid further injuries.