Doctors are warning kids and teens alike not to take “The Cinnamon Challenge.” The fad dares kids to swallow a spoonful of cinnamon in 60 seconds without any water. But the challenge can cause choking, throat irritation, breathing problems, and a malfunctioning of the lungs, according to a report published in the journal Pediatrics.
Thirty teens nationwide needed medical attention after taking the challenge and trips to poison control centers have gone from 51 to 222 visits in the last year. People with asthma or other respiratory problems are at a greater risk of a reaction.
The Washington Post reports:
Thousands of YouTube videos depict kids attempting the challenge, resulting in an “orange burst of dragon breath” spewing out of their mouths and sometimes hysterical laughter from friends watching the stunt, said report co-author Dr. Steven E. Lipshultz, a pediatrics professor at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.
But the challenge is no joke considering that it can cause scarring in the lungs amongst other side effects.
The New York Times reports that "Google recorded 2.4 million hits for the topic in 2012, up from 200,000 in 2009. A Web site devoted to the challenge claims that more than 40,000 videos have been posted on YouTube..."
Dejah Reed, 16 took the challenge four times and on the fourth time she started laughing and then began to choke. Her father came in and noticed the she had turned “a pale bluish color. It was very terrifying. I threw her over my shoulder” and drove to a nearby emergency room, reported on The Washington Post.
It’s a YouTube phenomenon gone terribly wrong. Parents and teens should be aware that this is no joke, but rather, it's a dangerous proposition.