Teenagers in Australia and the UK have had to seek hospital treatment, with some receiving skin grafts, after being scalded while attempting to make the honeycomb candy from Squid Game.
Sydney-based Aiden Higgie, 14, suffered third-degree burns to his leg after a cup holding molten sugar and baking soda exploded in his microwave.
The recipe the boy tried consisted of water, bicarb soda, and sugar. He placed the mixture in a plastic cup before microwaving it.
The candy features in episode three of Squid Game, when the contestants have to carve a shape out of a piece of honeycomb candy. If they were able to cut around the shape without any bits of it breaking off, they went through to the next round. If not, they were “eliminated”.
Many have tried the dalgona challenge, or honeycomb challenge, since the show’s release.
However, great care should be taken when preparing your honeycomb.
As the sugar needs to be boiled to over 150 degrees, the syrupy mixture doesn’t just burn skin — it sticks to it.
Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, Aiden’s mother Helen said it “boiled up to a ridiculous temperature” and when he took the cup out, “it exploded in his hands”.
She said: “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.”
Aiden, who is being treated at Westmead’s Children’s hospital, is the third child to be admitted to the hospital with burns sustained from being scalded while trying to make the candy.
A child in Perth and a child in Melbourne have also reportedly been burnt.
The British Burn Association (BBA) warned that burns services are “seeing a spike in burn injuries” off the back of Squid Game.
“Many are requiring surgery to treat,” the association tweeted.
⚠️Warning ⚠️ Burns services are seeing a spike in burn injuries following #squidgame and social media #honeycomb tr… https://t.co/TOumxr2T3q— British Burn Assoc. (@British Burn Assoc.) 1634739839
Speaking to the Daily Mail, BBA Deputy Chair Professor Kayvan Shokrollahi said he is concerned that the age range of patients treated recently is between 11 to 15, with some needing skin grafts.
Shokrollahi suggests implementing “common-sense measures” if making the mixture at home, including adult supervision and making use of oven mitts when cooking or transferring any sugar syrup mixture.
Nurse Nicole Lee, a burns matron based in West Sussex, also urged people to be careful.
Following a spike of honeycomb related burn injuries seen across the uk burn services following squid game honeycom… https://t.co/Om0SKaXUhI— Nicole Lee (@Nicole Lee) 1634743373
In a TikTok, she showed how quickly it can go wrong even if the sugar is melted down in a pan instead of a microwave.
In the video, she is seen making the viral treat before pretending to place her hand directly under the molten sugar.
#squidgame #squidgamehoneycomb #burnsnurse #nurse #firstaid #20minutescoolrunningwater
If this happens, run the burn under water for 20 minutes, remove jewellery, and seek medical advice, she advises.
In any case, it’s a good idea for steady-handed grown-ups to take the reins if making this recipe with kids at home.
If you’ve already been practising, you might be interested to know that a real-life Squid Game is coming to the UK at the end of November.