These social media challenges often start as something fun to do for bored kids or to even raise awareness for illnesses, but they can quickly turn into something harmful. An 11-year-old boy suffered gruesome third-degree burns after his friend poured boiling water on him while he was sleeping as part of the “Hot Water Challenge.”
The victim, Billy Oliver, was sleeping over at his friend’s house in Kentucky on July 23. Around 2:30 am, Oliver was awoken after his friend poured boiling hot water on him, resulting in serious burns.
His skin peeled across his back and neck. The suspect’s mother, Angela Guth, was arrested after she failed to get Oliver medical attention in a timely manner. The 43-year-old mother faces charges of second-degree criminal abuse and first-degree wanton endangerment, the Daily Mail reported.
Oliver, who spent the night playing the video game “Fortnite” with his friend, was taken to the Cincinnati Burn Center and is expected to recover. The young boy spoke to his mother about how painful the experience was, and she posted it on Facebook as a deterrent. “It was a ten. On one, well on a zero to ten scale how bad it hurt, it was a ten,” he said as doctors tended to his burns.
The “Hot Water Challenge” consists of boiling water to 212 degrees and then pouring it on someone or choosing to drink the water themselves, WREG reported.
Two days after the incident took place, Billy’s mother, Patricia Oliver, warned other parents of the challenge on Facebook.
“This is a challenge! Talk to your children people please. I am living a nightmare and had no idea about this challenge. My child stayed all night with a friend happened many times before. He went to sleep and woke with his friend throwing boiling water on him laughing while my child fit to get his clothes off.”
She added: “Education is the only thing we can do right now. The parents need to speak; you need to talk with your child. My child had stayed many a night with this boy, and I never would have put him in danger, but it’s a challenge you know..these challenges are deadly, they’re dangerous. It’s not what you want to wake up to.”
Thankfully, the boy is not expected to need skin grafts. It’s unclear if the suspect will face charges.