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Mum Issues Warning After Daughter’s TikTok Challenge Turns Dangerous

A concerned mother is warning parents across the UK after her daughter attempted a TikTok challenge that could have left her scarred for life. Emma-Louise Owen’s 12-year-old daughter, Sophie-Rosie, suffered burn blisters after attempting the ‘tanghulu challenge,’ which involves heating sugar and water to create a syrup that is then glazed over fruit skewers before being dipped in cold water to harden.

Mum Issues Warning After Daughter's TikTok Challenge Turns Dangerous

Mum Issues Warning After Daughter's TikTok Challenge Turns Dangerous's Tiktok Challenge Turns Dangerous
mum issues warning after daughter’s tiktok challenge turns dangerous

Emma, 34, from Cardiff, agreed to let Sophie try the challenge after seeing it herself on social media but warned her daughter to be careful. However, shortly after, she heard a piercing scream from the kitchen. Sophie had heated the syrup in a plastic jug in the microwave, but the boiling hot mixture melted through the container, spilling onto her foot and hand.

Mum Issues Warning After Daughter's TikTok Challenge Turns Dangerous

Emma quickly submerged Sophie’s foot and hand in cold water, noticing large blisters forming. She rushed Sophie to the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff, where doctors informed them they were lucky the burns weren’t more severe. Emma, an insurance handler, feels grateful her daughter wasn’t blinded by the scorching liquid and is now warning other parents about the viral craze.

Mum Issues Warning After Daughter's TikTok Challenge Turns Dangerous

The mixture of boiling water and sugar, sometimes referred to as ‘prison napalm,’ can cause severe burns as it sticks to the skin and intensifies the injury, similar to the effects of napalm bombs.

Mum Issues Warning After Daughter's TikTok Challenge Turns Dangerous

Emma said, “We were told it could’ve been a lot worse. Because we acted so quickly and kept it under water for so long, we sort of killed off the burns. It could’ve easily splattered in her face and she would’ve had scars all over her face or been blinded. She has scars now from this.”

Mum Issues Warning After Daughter's TikTok Challenge Turns Dangerous

Emma also highlighted the lack of disclaimers on social media about the dangers of such challenges, urging other parents to be aware of what their children are doing online. “You can’t keep an eye on your kids 24/7 but just stay aware of what they’re doing,” she added.

Mum Issues Warning After Daughter's TikTok Challenge Turns Dangerous

A TikTok spokesperson responded by noting that candied fruit recipes, including tanghulu, have been around for years, predating the platform. They emphasized that making tanghulu is no more dangerous than cooking other foods at high temperatures. The spokesperson also reiterated that TikTok is a 13+ platform and that they have measures in place to prevent underage use, including requiring users to enter their complete date of birth.

Mum Issues Warning After Daughter's TikTok Challenge Turns Dangerous

Emma hopes her warning will prevent other children from suffering similar injuries, urging parents to monitor their children’s activities and educate them about the potential dangers of viral challenges.

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