Last month we wrote about Ashley Long, a 14-year-old girl who died tragically after inhaling helium straight from a tank. It’s apparently a popular party trick among teens who tend to feel invincible when clearly they’re not. That’s the case with the latest craze called the cinnamon challenge. As the name suggests, it’s when someone attempts to swallow a spoonful of cinnamon in less than one minute and without any water. Many challengers will post videos to YouTube showing off their skills (or lack thereof).
Turns out it’s not only disgusting but dangerous, too. Doctors say that ingesting cinnamon like that can prevent air from reaching the lungs, which can be a major choking hazard (our salivary glands can’t produce enough water to swallow that amount of cinnamon without the help of a liquid). It can also cause vomiting and coughing, as well as pneumonia (if the cinnamon is aspirated into the lungs).
The cinnamon challenge has actually been around for a while now but for some reason, it has spiked in popularity recently. In fact, just this week, a Michigan student was hospitalized after participating in the challenge, and now high school principals across the country are warning parents of the dangers involved.
Apparently, it’s a thing. There’s even a Facebook page dedicated to the challenge (9,245 “likes” to date), which links to CinnamonChallenge.com. Here you’ll find countless videos of people trying to do it. To be fair, it’s not just teenagers who are partaking in such a silly act; there are plenty of adults on the site, as well. But teens still need to be told when something’s stupid and dangerous, whereas adults should know better (that’s my line of thinking, anyway).
Clearly this isn’t as dangerous as some of the other things out there that teens are attracted to (like the helium craze mentioned above, or even ol’ standbys like alcohol and cigarettes). But, hey, it could prove fatal, which is reason enough to let your kids know that there’s nothing cool about ingesting a spoonful of cinnamon, sans liquid, for kicks. My goodness, it feels strange even to type that sentence. But that’s modern parenthood for ya…