A spike in children needing skin grafts for horrific burns has led to doctors warning against a Squid Game-inspired trend on TikTok.
The second challenge in the highly-rated Netflix series sees contestants trying to snap the edges off a honeycomb biscuit until only a shape is left. Those who fail to succeed are executed.
The viral “honeycomb challenge” sees fans create the sweet treats from scratch at their home. The process involves melting sugar at very high temperatures to make the gooey mixture that sticks to skin like glue.
Children aged between 11-15 years old sustained severe injuries at specialist burns units throughout the country since the show’s debut.
British Burn Association (BBA), posted a picture of a burned hand on Twitter. It said: “Burns services see a spike in burn injury following #squidgame & social media #honeycomb trend. Many people are in need of surgery.
Professor Kayvan Shokrollahi, BBA Deputy Chair, is concerned that the growing number of children who are injured by following the trend could be the “tip of the Iceberg”.
Since the show’s premiere, a number of children between the ages of 11 and 15 have sustained serious injuries in specialist burns units across the country. This image was posted online by the British Burn Association warning of the dangers.
Pictured: Squid Game protagonist Seong Gi-hun attempts to remove the umbrella shape from a honeycomb biscuit
Dalgona is a South Korean sweet that was featured in the Netflix TV series Squid Game. It has since become a worldwide craze.
He stated that the boiling point for sugar is over 150 degrees. Any contact of syrup with skin causes deeper burns. This is compounded by its stickiness to the skin.
“It is also concerning that patients admitted recently are between 11 and 15 years old, and some have required skin grafts.
“Our general advice to chefs is to use common sense measures when cooking candy and jam. This includes using oven mitts when cooking or transfering any sugar syrup mixture. And of course, adult supervision of cooking in a suitable setting.
“The basic principles for first aid for scalds include: immediately cool running water for 20 mins (avoid ice), wrap the area in clingfilm and seek medical attention.
“Over the past few days, at most five patients with these injuries have been seen in the burn units of Trustees of British Burn Association. There are likely to be more.
“Furthermore, only about a third of injuries are likely reach a burns unit, so it is possible that this may be the tip off an iceberg.”
Nicole Lee, the Lead Nurse for South East Burns Network in London, warned viewers not to copy the trend.
Aiden Higgie (14 years old) suffered severe burns to his hands and legs while melting sugar to participate in the challenge.
The challenge is to create a shape from homemade honeycomb, without breaking it.
She is a burns matron at Queen Victoria Hospital in East Grinstead (West Sussex), which has only treated one patient due to the trend so far.
Nicole posted on Twitter: “Following an increase in honeycomb-related burn injuries seen across UK burn services following Squid Game Honeycomb, please be cautious.”
She posted a TikTok video in which she mixed sugar with bicarbonate of soda and then pretends to spill the hot frying pan.
She suggests cooling the mock injury under cool running water for 20 mins, then removing any jewellery and seeking medical advice.
Nora Nugent, consultant plastic surgery and Queen Victoria Hospital burns lead, stated: “Squid Game’s honeycomb challenge” has become a dangerous viral trend. This has led to children and adults getting burns when handling the honeycomb. Some require specialist surgical treatment.
“Sugar must be heated to between 121C and 130C in order to make honeycomb. Contact with skin at that temperature can cause serious burn injuries.
‘If you feel that anything hot touches your skin, cool it immediately with cool running water for 20 minutes. If the burn is serious, call 911 and get medical attention.
‘Most importantly, please do not allow your children or teens to make honeycomb without supervision – knowing basic burns first aid can help you save your child’s life if they are hurt.
Since last month’s show, UK Google searches for “honeycomb” have skyrocketed.