CHICAGO (CBS) — The “boiling water challenge” sent several people to the hospital in the Chicago area during last week’s polar vortex.

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Loyola University Medical Center treated eight people for significant burns, according to a hospital spokesman. Victims ranged in age from three to 53, and some were bystanders trying to watch a friend or family member do the challenge.

The challenge tasks people with throwing extremely hot water into the air outside during freezing temperatures just to see it turn into a cloud of steam.

Doctors at Loyola Medicine’s Burn Center say bad aim and bad throws sent that scalding hot water onto people instead of into the air.

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“We’ve seen eight patients, and we’re really surprised at how many people were trying the challenge and unfortunately failing,” said Dr. Arthur Sanford, a Loyola University Medical Center burn surgeon.

People can experience first, second or even third-degree burns when they accidentally spill boiling water on their feet or spray it on to their face or body.

 

 

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