Why TikTok's Squid Game Honeycomb Challenge Is So Concerning

As far as candy recipes go, this one is probably as easy as it gets — so easy it is regularly made on the streets of South Korea. There, vendors melt sugar until it is a golden, amber color and then add baking soda so that the mixture lifts and becomes light, becoming a crisp, sweet treat. The mixture is then poured onto parchment paper and a cookie cutter is used to fashion what is now dalgona candy into any shape you might want it to be (via Delish). 

The dalgona challenge may have became a worldwide phenomenon after the Netflix-distributed drama "Squid Game," but the ease with which the candy appears to be made has made it a hazard in households across Australia, where children are attempting to make the treat and then scalding themselves. It doesn't help that the potentially dangerous candy making game has morphed into the "honeycomb challenge" and is now popular on social media (via News.com.au). One mother revealed that while her 14-year-old son, who suffered from third degree burns, didn't try and cook the candy on the stovetop, he did use a plastic cup and a microwave. Because the young teen couldn't tell the difference between a microwavable cup and one that wasn't, the cup blew up.

A potentally lethal treat

The accident is one that the young teen is not likely to forget. "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," said his mother, Helena Higgie. "It was like toffee and burnt right through to the nerves" (via News.com.au).

Erik La Hei, acting head of the burns unit at the Children's Hospital at Westmead explained why the stunt is so dangerous. "Sugar melts at a temperature that is higher than what's needed to boil water, so the honeycomb toffee mix is both hotter and stickier," he said. "If the mixture is spilt or handled while it's still hot, the greater heat and longer contact time causes deeper, more serious burns," (via Nine.com.au).

While Netflix might have scored a big hit with "Squid Game," there has been some pushback because the dystopian show has a deceptively cutesy name. Common Sense Media now rates the show as being appropriate for children aged 16 and older and it warns "parents need to know that the level of violence is very intense in 'Squid Game'" (via The Wall Street Journal). The network itself rates the show as possibly being unsuitable for ages 17 and younger.