What every parent needs to know about the ‘hot water challenge’

The latest in a long line of dangerous, stupid and viral challenges among kids is the so-called “Hot Water Challenge.” If it sounds bad already, you have no idea—one girl has already died thanks to the stunt. Here’s what parents need to know about this new “trend.”

The Hot Water Challenge was inspired by videos on YouTube, teens say. It involves pouring boiling water on a friend who’s not expecting it (does this sound like a good idea yet?) or daring a friend to drink boiling water through a straw—a stunt that ended in death for one child.

Just this week, an 11-year-old girl from the Bronx was severely burned after her friends poured boiling water on her at a sleepover as part of the Hot Water Challenge. The girl, who was identified as Jamoneisha Merritt, experienced burns on her face, chest, back and shoulders. The 12-year-old girl who poured the water on Merritt has been charged with felony assault, according to the police.

And Merritt isn’t the only one who has suffered thanks to this idiotic challenge. Last month, 10-year-old Wesley Smith of North Carolina also suffered severe burns after he and his step-brother decided to try the challenge. And in late July, 8-year-old Ki’ari Pope of Florida died months after her cousin dared her to drink boiling water through a straw—a stunt that ended in severe burns to her mouth and throat. Pope ended up receiving a tracheotomy and died due to respiratory problems.

Now parents of the victims are speaking out and begging other parents to talk to their children about this dangerous challenge.

“Watch what your kids are doing on the Internet,” Smith’s step-father Jimmy Daugherty, told a CBS affiliate in an interview. “When we got to the hospital and I actually seen it, I thought the poor boy had been through a war.”