Not so sweet: Kids suffer burns from real life Squid Game challenge

London, UK - Fans remain obsessed with the hit Korean TV show Squid Games, but now, another one of its trends is playing out in real life and proving particularly dangerous.

Netflix's popular show Squid Games depicts a challenge where players cut out a shape from Dalgona honeycomb candy (inset r.), but the real life effects have been dangerous.
Netflix's popular show Squid Games depicts a challenge where players cut out a shape from Dalgona honeycomb candy (inset r.), but the real life effects have been dangerous.  © Collage: IMAGO/NurPhoto & ITAR-TASS

The so-called "Honeycomb Challenge" depicted on Squid Games may not be so sweet.

In the show's fictional games of life and death, the protagonists of the Netflix series have to break out a pre-cut shape from a "Dalgona" candy.

The caramel candy was especially popular in Korea in the 1970s and '80s and has currently inspired many adolescents to recreate the challenge, especially on TikTok.

Plane with over 100 people on board crashes in southern China
Accidents Plane with over 100 people on board crashes in southern China

But before you can prove your skill, you have to make the sugary treat.

Therein is where the danger lies. Making the candy involves heating the sweet ingredients to extremely high temperatures of more than 320 degrees Fahrenheit, which can lead to nasty burns upon contact with the skin as the mixture forms.

In England, specialist clinics have cited that the process has led to an increase in burn victims between the ages of 11 and 15, according to the Mirror.

Even the British Burn Association (BBA) issued a warning on Twitter about the risky business.

"Burns services are seeing a spike in burn injuries following #squidgame and social media #honeycomb trend," it wrote. "Many are requiring surgery to treat."

Squid Game causes problems worldwide

Fans of the show use a toothpick to cut a shape out of a Dalgona candy to complete the honeycomb challenge.
Fans of the show use a toothpick to cut a shape out of a Dalgona candy to complete the honeycomb challenge.  © imago/ZUMA Press

The BBA remains concerned that the current figures may only be "the tip of the iceberg".

A spokesperson for the organization said that at least five cases have been recorded in just the past few days.

They also believe that many of the injured are not being treated in hospitals, so the actual rate could be even higher.

Ship stuck in Chesapeake Bay after cousin ship had similar problem
Accidents Ship stuck in Chesapeake Bay after cousin ship had similar problem

The problems are not only cropping up in the UK.

A 14-year-old boy in Australia also suffered third-degree burns last month after trying to heat sugar in a microwave, the Daily Mail reported.

When he removed the unsafe plastic cup from the appliance, it exploded in his hands. The mixture burned his arms and legs.

Doctors advise that parents do not let their children make the candy themselves, and read up on first aid measures in case of an emergency.

If an accident occurs, experts recommend holding the burned area under cold water for 20 minutes, and then wrapping it in plastic wrap. If the pain and burn is severe, you should seek medical attention.

Squid Game is one of the most successful series to date from streaming giant Netflix. The show pits contestants against each other in children's games to win millions in prize money.

It has led to several events worldwide that have reenacted the games in real life.

Cover photo: Collage: IMAGO/NurPhoto & ITAR-TASS

More on the topic Accidents: