People in hospital after 'boiling water challenge' goes wrong

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As medical practitioners across the United States would like us to know, tossing boiling water into the air and wincing as it falls on your face, is as unsafe as it looks.

But hospitals are warning that the challenge has led to those taking part suffering serious burns, as the wind blew boiling water back onto them.

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.

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.

The burn centre at Loyola University Medical Center in Chicago said it treated eight people who attempted the exercise.

Loyola burn surgeon Dr Arthur Sanford warned people to not perform the challenge, noting "there is no safe way to do it".

A spokeswoman said the hospital had seen injuries to the face, hands, arms and feet - as well as "varying degrees of burns".

The University of Iowa Burn Treatment Center in Iowa City, and Hennepin Healthcare in Minneapolis also reported admitting patients with burn injuries caused by the challenge.

He added it was not just the people throwing the water who are getting hurt. Vicik said some of the burn victims in Chicago have been those watching the stunt. Almost three-quarters of the population of the United States experienced temperatures at or below freezing; in Chicago temperatures plunged to minus 21.

"The gamut runs from essentially being burned from hot liquid to being exposed to the cold air", he said.

But in very cold weather, on bare skin the risk from cold water is just as high, according to Dr. Jeff Schaider, chairman of emergency medicine at Cook County Health in Chicago.

For some reason, a majority of the accidents pertaining to "The Boiling Water Challenge" have taken place in the greater Chicago area. "It looks like it's pretty cool, but it's probably a bad idea".

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