When 15-year old Nickolas Conrad was invited to a sleepover with his friends, he was expecting to have a good time and create some happy memories. What he wasn’t expecting was to be awakened by a terrible pain on his neck.
At first he wasn’t sure what the pain was – he just woke up with a horrible sensation right in the middle of his throat.
“I felt this really bad burning on my neck and when I woke up and I started screaming and crying,” Conrad said. “It was the worst pain of my life.”
The Hot Water Challenge
It turns out that Conrad was the victim of the latest Internet challenge, the ‘Hot Water Challenge’, which involves someone drinking a carton of boiling water or throwing the water on an unsuspecting person.
As it turns out, this is what happened to Nickolas. The other boys at the sleepover had thrown hot water on him as he slept, causing first and second degree burns.
“They’re not my friends anymore and they’re not going to be,” Conrad added, speaking of the classmates who tried the “challenge” out on him.
The boy’s mother, Mickey, was incensed at the incident and for good reason.
“I thought it had been an accident but when I found out it was deliberate, it’s so concerning,” she said. “Don’t ever say: ‘My child won’t do that,’ and educate them.”
No charges have been filed against the children, and the adults that were home at the time were sleeping during the event and had no idea what went on.
The “hot water challenge” is now being taken very seriously in schools across the country, with resource officers working to ensure that this “challenge” is not to be taken lightly. Not only could people be seriously injured, but the offenders could face felony charges for assault.
While it can be hard to let your kids out into the world, there are ways that you can prepare them and make sure that they are as safe as possible:
Talk to them about peer pressure and how to avoid any situation that is wrong or makes them uncomfortable
Keep track of their Internet usage and look out for any potential dangers, like the hot water challenge or other challenges that could be dangerous
Get to know your children’s friends and family
Keep judgements back so that your child feels comfortable talking to you about things that may be bothering them which can help avoid unfortunate situations in the future.
As much as we wish we could, we can’t watch our child every second of the day. The best thing we can do is give them the tools to take care of themselves when we aren’t around, and be there for them when we can.