CLEVELAND COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) — A 10-year-old Cleveland County boy is recovering from severe burns after attempting to replicate an internet challenge video.

Wesley Smith and his step-brother were attempting the ‘hot water challenge’ when Smith suffered second and third degree burns, according to his mother.

In several videos viewed online, people attempting the ‘hot water challenge’ pour hot water all over their bodies.

The 10-year-old suffered his injuries in July. Smith’s mother, Rhonda Daugherty, said the boys were unsupervised when the incident happened.

“I’m wishing I could change places with him. I’ve told him that so many times,” said Rhonda Daugherty in an interview Friday.

She said Smith has spent several weeks in a Winston Salem Burn Center and will need to undergo several surgeries. Daugherty said the boy will need skin grafts to repair the burn damage.

“When we got to the hospital and I actually seen it, I thought the poor boy had been through a war,” said Jimmy Daugherty, the boy’s step-father.

Both parents are now sending a message to other families. They want people to avoid the ‘hot water challenge’.

“Watch what your kids are doing on the internet,” said Jimmy Daugherty.

The parents know their son made a mistake and they say they’ve questioned him about the decision, but right now their focus is on his recovery.

“I know God’s working miracles in that boy’s life, healing him as fast as he is from this and he’s gonna continue, and it’s gonna be alright,” said Jimmy Daugherty.

The parents say their son may be able to return home from the hospital on Monday.

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