Please Stop Doing the Boiling Water Challenge: Hospitals

Eight people sent themselves to a Chicago burn treatment center.

boiling water challenge
A man walks along an ice-covered break-wall along Chicago's Lake Michigan where temperatures were hovering around -20 degrees with wind chills nearing -50 degrees on Thursday. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)
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It might sound exciting to conduct a mini science experiment by tossing boiling water into the frigid air and watching it instantly freeze, but there’s a good chance you’ll scald yourself in the process.

That’s what hospitals are saying after admitting several people who tried — and failed — to take part in the viral boiling water challenge during last week’s polar vortex.

Eight people who joined in on the challenge sent themselves to the burn center at Chicago’s Loyola University Medical Center, CNN reported, with injuries to their “feet, arms, hands, face, and varying degrees of burns, as well,” a spokeswoman said.

One person sought treatment at the University of Iowa Burn Treatment Center in Iowa City, according to the hospital, and Hennepin Healthcare in Minneapolis said a “couple” of people were treated there in recent weeks.

“Some of them being parents or adults (who) go outside with their kids to do it, and the kids kind of get excited and step in the way, and the parents end up throwing the water on the children,” clinical care supervisor at Hennepin Healthcare, Angie Whitley, said.

“Or, people throw it in the air just as a gust of wind comes, and (the water) catches the wind and it blows it back on them — so we see some face scald injuries from that,” she added.

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