Hit Netflix series Squid Game has a sparked a dangerous wave of imitators that has seen three Sydney children rushed to hospital after attempting to emulate one of the controversial show’s stunts.
All of the children were burned after responding to a TikTok challenge that called for them to melt hot sugar, transfer it to baking paper and carve a shape into homemade honeycomb without breaking it.
One of the children admitted in the last month, Aiden, 14, suffered burns to his hand and deep burns and nerve damage to his leg, according to the hospital.
His mother Helena said the burns were so severe that doctors feared he would need a skin graft.
The burns are healing well on their own but he will spend the next year in a pressure bandage.
“It’s shocking that such a simple act, like making honeycomb, could have such serious consequences,” she said.
The injuries ranged from mild scalds to nerve damage, with all three children requiring ongoing treatment.
Aiden’s burns are healing well on their own but he will still need to spend the next year in a pressure bandage.
Acting head of the Westmead Hospital’s burns unit, Erik La Hei, said making honeycomb presented a danger because of the high temperature at which its sugar melts.
“The honeycomb toffee mix is both hotter and stickier,” Dr La Hei said.
“If the mixture is spilt or handled while it’s still hot, the greater heat and longer contact times causes deeper, more serious burns.”
If a child is burnt, the wound should be placed under cool running water for 20 minutes. Any clothing or jewellery should be removed.
If the burn is bigger than a 20-cent piece, or parents have concerns, they should seek medical help.