Central Texas mother warns about dangerous social media trend after son suffers burns

An Austin boy is recovering from burns after taking part in a new social media challenge.

The “Cinnamon Challenge”, the “Choking Game”: there are plenty of trends out there encouraging people to make bad decisions to look "cool" online.

But an Austin area mom is warning others about another social media trend that can not only harm you, but can also kill you.

Christine Young's sons weren't thinking much about the consequences when a neighbor told them about the "man challenge.”

"He was pretty much challenging them in their manhood,” Young explained.

Also called the "Hot Water Challenge" it's a social media trend Young had recently heard of, never thinking it would harm her own child.

"I had just read about this challenge the week before (last week), and was like ‘my kids would never do that’” said Young.

Then, over the weekend, her oldest son called her on her way home to let her know that a neighbor had poured boiling water on her 11-year-old son’s back with his permission.

Right away, she says, she knew “it sounds like that stupid hot water challenge."

They treated the burn right away and took her son to the doctor’s office. Her son suffered first and second-degree burns.

Thankfully, in Young’s son’s case, he’ll heal. But for others who have tried the challenge, it's proven life-threatening.

"You may not die, but you can suffer permanent severe consequences,” explained Austin Regional Clinic Doctor Chris Spencer.

Some people doing the “hot water challenge” swallow the boiling water through a straw. The water can damage your esophagus and your windpipe.

"Most of us, our windpipe is the size of our pinky finger and so if you burn the windpipe area and it swells, then you may have severe difficulty breathing,” said Spencer.

That's what happened to 8-year-old Ki'ari Pope. The Florida girl died 5 months after drinking boiling water through a straw. 

Spencer explains that it’s a similar effect to drinking drain cleaner.

"They would have severe burns, which were either fatal or they would have permanent damage."

Young wants other parents to know that even if you don't think your kids have heard about it, there's a chance someone else has.

"No matter how stupid things look online, your kids aren't above trying them just because they're kids and they're curious,” Young advised.

© 2017 KVUE-TV


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