Burn Injuries From Viral Boiling Water Challenge Sending People To The Hospital

Modesto Morganelli
Febbraio 10, 2019

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.

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.

Eight different individuals who took part in the challenge have been treated at the burn centers of Chicago's Loyola University Medical Center, according to Chris Vicik, the director of media relations for the triage.

One person sought treatment at the University of Iowa Burn Treatment Center in Iowa City, spokesman Tom Moore said, and Hennepin Healthcare in Minneapolis said a "couple" of people were treated there in recent weeks.

Whitley said they also saw face scald injuries in people who threw boiling water in the air but the wind blew back the hot water on them.

He added it was not just the people throwing the water who are getting hurt.

The polar vortex which normally pushes strong winds around the northern pole has sent an icy blast southwards in the last couple of weeks.

Swaths of the US were plunged into record cold temperatures when the so-called polar vortex descended late January, with temperatures in Chicago reaching -45 degrees.

Chicago's Cook County Health chairman of emergency medicine Jeff Schaider advised the public not to try the boiling water challenge.

Water will accelerate the freezing of the skin, and increase the risk of a cold injury to the skin.

With large parts of the United States hit by a deep freeze last week, some took up the challenge to throw water in the air and watch it instantly turn into frozen vapour. While airborne frozen water can create pretty patterns, it can also land on people while it's boiling hot. "That's a bigger risk, actually".

Treatment depends on how severe the burn, he said.

The spectacular frosty mist, as shown in tweets by successful challengers, is tempting to try, but don't get tricked.

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