Girl left with burns all over her face due to dangerous prank

The internet has many advantages with its new ways to connect with friends and family and the access it offers to vast amounts of knowledge, but having access to so much information can sometimes be dangerous. Why? Because there are often no filters to stop anyone of any age seeing anything.  As a result, one of the latest viral challenges sweeping across social networks has had tragic consequences for several young children.

Jamoneisha Merrit is an 11-year-old girl from New York. On August 3, she went to a sleepover with her friends, but fell asleep before they did. Suddenly, she was woken by incredible pain across her face and neck. She couldn't open her eyes, her skin burned and her lips were swelling. Her friends had just thrown boiling water on her face — they were imitating videos they had seen online where people throw boiling water over each other.

Jamoneisha suffered second- and third-degree burns on her face, neck, back and shoulders. The burns are so severe that doctors haven't wanted to show the girl her wounds in a mirror. In addition, she is in pain every day and will have to undergo many surgeries in the future.

On top of Jamoneisha's suffering, her family faces mounting medical expenses. They have started a campaign on GoFundMe to help pay for Jamoneisha's treatment now and in the future, including possible counseling sessions. On the site, Jamoneisha's mother Ebony writes, "The emotional and physical pain my daughter is going through is something that no parent would want to bear witness to. My heart aches for the moment she has to look in the mirror at what these cruel individuals have done to her."

The family believe the hot water challenge is to blame for what happened to Jamoneisha. On Facebook, her mother wrote: "Attention: y'all parents need to be on y'all kids about not doing these stupid ass challenges they see on Fb!! And some of y'all big asses is old enough to f***ing know better."

Sadly, Jamoneisha is not the first child to be severely injured in this way. Eight-year-old Ki'ari Pope from Florida even died after drinking boiling water through a straw after she was dared to by her cousin. And 10-year-old Wesley Smith from North Carolina was hospitalized with second- and third-degree burns after attempting the hot water challenge with his step brother.

The victims of these kinds of challenges are often children who haven't yet learned enough to predict the consequences of their actions. Children need to be educated so they're aware that many things they see online may be faked, or in this case, downright dangerous and not worth attempting. Hopefully this will prevent cases like Jamoneisha's from ever happening again.



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