CHARLOTTE, N.C. — An 8-year-old Florida girl has died five months after she was injured while drinking boiling water through a straw on a dare.
The SunSentinel reports Ki'ari Pope started having trouble breathing Sunday night. She told her mother's boyfriend, who called 911. She was taken to a hospital where she died.
Marquisia Bonner, the child's 22-year-old mother, says Ki'ari had suffered complications since March when she took the dare from her cousin after they watched a YouTube video where someone appeared to drink boiling water from a straw. She had emergency surgery on her windpipe to clear scar tissue.
Her mother says a tracheotomy left her with trouble breathing and talking.
NBC Charlotte spoke with Janine Davis, who is the founder of Girl Talk Foundation, Inc., a local organization that focuses on empowering young girls and teenagers.
Davis said young children are especially susceptible to dangerous dares because they want to fit in.
“That's their whole world," Davis said. "What everyone else thinks. And they're always trying to follow who they think is the most popular.”
Davis says this case is the perfect reason for parents to talk to their children.
“This unfortunate incident can be an opportunity to open a door with your daughter and son and say, ‘what do you think about this?" she said. "What do you think was wrong? Have you ever thought about something like this?’”
Davis says, when it comes to talking to kids, it’s never too early.
“Unfortunately, a lot of parents wait until something tragic happens and say, ‘oh my God, we gotta talk.’ But the key is to be preventative," she said. "You should be talking all along, really when they're in elementary school.”
Boynton Beach police spokeswoman Stephanie Slater says the medical examiner will determine the cause of death.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.