Doctors: Please Avoid the 'Boiling Water Challenge'

Just the words 'boiling water' should be enough, right?
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 9, 2019 2:00 PM CST

Turns out that—we know, it's a shocker—boiling-hot water tossed in the air can come back down and burn you, CNN reports. This after eight people who took the so-called "boiling water challenge" were treated at a Chicago burn center, and a few others sought burn treatment for the same reason recently in Iowa City and Minneapolis. The "challenge," to hurl boiling water and watch it freeze in mid-air, is a bit of a craze inspired by the polar vortex that's been gripping America. While airborne frozen water can create pretty patterns, it can also land on people while it's boiling hot.

Seems some of the victims are children who watched their parents toss boiling-hot water and inadvertently got in the way, per Tech Times. In other cases people threw the water just as a gust of wind came along and blew it back in their face. Medical experts say it's dangerous to get any water on bare skin in icy temperatures (think frozen skin) and, to complicate matters, hot-water injuries may go unnoticed when it's freezing out because it's too cold for the pain to register. "It's tempting to try," says a Chicago doctor of the challenge. "It looks like it's pretty cool, but it's probably a bad idea." (A dance craze last year was also pretty risky.)

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