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Boy Left With Disfiguring Burns After Attempting One Of The Challenges From 'Squid Game'

Boy Left With Disfiguring Burns After Attempting One Of The Challenges From 'Squid Game'

Netflix's top-rated survival show, Squid Game, became a global phenomenon that has been subtitled in over 30 languages and dubbed in 13.

The Korean drama—about debt-ridden competitors from all walks of life participating in life-threatening children's games for a $40 million cash prize—is considered Netflix's "biggest show ever."

But while the dystopian drama created by Hwang Dong-hyuk has enjoyed much success, the show's influence on the audience has been met with controversy as Squid Game-inspired challenges have surged with popularity online, especially on TikTok.

Many attempts have been made to discourage people from copying the dangerous games depicted in the series.

A school district in New York banned students from donning the show's signature red and green jumpsuits ahead of Halloween for fear students might copy some of the dangerous contests and suffer serious injuries.

Aiden Higgie, a fourteen-year-old boy from Australia, horribly burned himself attempting to recreate one of the show's deadly challenges.

According to the Daily Mail, Higgie sustained first-degree burns on his hand as well as deep burns and nerve damage to his leg after he tried what's called the "honeycomb challenge."

Also known as, Dalgona Candy, the thin confection is a familiar one for Korean audiences.

The game involves making a thin sheet of honeycomb and carving out a shape using a pin. In Squid Game the consequence of contestants cracking the candy in the process is execution.

Higgie found a honeycomb recipe on TikTok and tried to melt the water, bicarb soda, and sugar mixture in a non-microwavable plastic cup in the microwave instead of in a pot on the stovetop, as most recipes instruct.

When he went to retrieve the mixture, it allegedly exploded.

The boy's mother, Helen, who was in another room at the time, told the Daily Telegraph.

"It boiled up to a ridiculous temperature, and when he took the cup out it exploded in his hand."

She said some of their cups are microwavable but kids can't tell the difference from ones that are not.

"It has burnt his hand, and because it was sugar and plastic melted together, it has run down his leg from his knee down to his shin and it stuck and kept on burning and burning and burning," she said, adding, "It was like toffee and burnt right through to the nerves."

Higgie was hospitalized after the accident, and doctors believe the boy will require a skin graft due to the severity of the burns.

While he is expected to heal, he will be spending the next year in a pressure bandage.

"It's shocking that such a simple act, like making honeycomb, could have such serious consequences," said the mother.

Online Google searches related to Squid Game have soared around the world, particularly with those looking for information on honeycomb recipes.

The Children's Hospital at Westmead in Sydney issued a statement saying three children were admitted to the hospital for severe burns from attempting the viral cooking challenge.

Dr. Erik La Hei, the acting head of the hospital's burns unit, warned parents to keep vigilant with their children in the kitchen when making honeycomb.

She said:

"Sugar melts at a temperature that is higher than what's needed to boil water, so the honeycomb toffee mix is both hotter and stickier."
"If the mixture is spilt or handled while it's still hot, the greater heat and longer contact time causes deeper, more serious burns."

Dr. La Hei added:

"We don't want to discourage teenagers from cooking, it is a fun activity."
"But we do want to ensure they do this safely, especially when handling hot liquids. This means cooking with either the supervision or help, of an adult."

The hospital said if a child is burnt, the area of injury should be placed under cool running water for 20 minutes, and any clothing or jewelry should be removed.