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Doctors send warning after children suffer burns from the TikTok ‘Honeycomb’ trend inspired by ‘Squid Game’

By PINKY S. ICAMEN Published Nov 02, 2021 5:33 pm

Warning: graphic image

Making these sweet Honeycomb candies from scratch can be satisfying, and also dangerous, especially for children.

Squid Game lead character Seon Gi-hun or player 456 (Lee Jeung-jae) inspects his Honeycomb candy in Episode 3 of the show.


Since the release of the record-shattering Netflix survival drama series, Squid Game, things related to the show have become in demand, from the green player track suits and white Vans slip ons, to challenges depicting the games in the show including the “Honeycomb” or “Dalgona Candy” challenge. 

On TikTok, there is a viral “Honeycomb challenge” that goes beyond participants carving out the shape in the thin sheet of candy without breaking it, just like in the show. The challenge also involves making the candy from scratch, which could pose serious injuries for those who attempt to do so, especially younger children.

The 'Honeycomb challenge' on TikTok involves making the candy from scratch.

There are countless tutorial videos online on how to make the Honeycomb candy, which is oddly satisfying to watch but could be dangerous in real life as it entails melting sugar at a very high temperature (150-degrees Celsius) to create the gooey mixture.

Doctors from the British Burn Association (BBA) recently released a statement that its Burns services are seeing a spike in burn injuries following the Squid Game Honeycomb trend. The BBA says many of the injuries are requiring surgery to treat.

Children between 11 and 15 years old are among those who suffer serious injuries (some of whom needed skin grafts) since the show’s release, according to special burns units across the UK.

In Australia, a 14-year-old boy was admitted to the hospital after suffering third-degree burns on his legs after attempting to take on the challenge. His mother told The Daily Telegraph that he looked up on TikTok how to make the candy.

Meanwhile, The Mail also reported that two more children from Sydney were burned while melting sugar and transferring it to baking sheets.

British Burn Association deputy chair Prof. Kayva Shokrollahi said he is concerned that spike in burn injuries in children after taking on the challenge could be the “tip of the iceberg.”

Shokrollahi told The Mirror that the boiling point of sugar is over 150 degrees, and once this gets into contact with skin it can cause much deeper burns because the melted sugar mixture sticks to the skin.

“Our general advice is to put in place general common sense measures well-known by chefs when cooking candy or jam,” he said, enumerating the said precautions like using oven mittens when transferring any sugar syrup or mixture and ensuring adult supervision of cooking in a suitable environment.

The BBA also released a first-aid advice on what to do in case an accident like this happens.

“The basic principles of first aid for scalds is immediate cool running water for 20 minutes (avoid ice), wrap the affected area loosely in cling film and seek medical attention.”

This was echoed by Nicole Lee, lead nurse at London and South East Burns Network, who urged people to be careful when taking on the challenge.

In a TikTok video, Lee demonstrated how to treat burns, and like the BBA’s advice, she suggests cooling the wound under cool running water, removing all jewelry and seeking medical advice.