Type in the words “cinnamon challenge” on Youtube.com and hundreds of videos will appear. They are videos of people attempting a popular dare involving a spoonful of cinnamon.
One Ann Arbor Huron High School student found out the hard way that it’s dangerous. The school’s principal sent an email to parents warning them after the 9 th grade student ended up in the hospital for four days after trying the challenge.
“They try to swallow it, which is impossible,” explained Emma Claussen.
The Derby Middle School student, from Birmingham, knew about the “Cinnamon Challenge.” Her dad did not.
Claussen says she never tried it, but knows of classmates who have. They chose to do so after a dare, or in order to get attention on sites like Facebook and YouTube.
“They mostly cough it up,” said Clausen. “It is kind of gross.”
Doctors say her classmates were lucky. Sometimes the dare has devastating consequences.
“If you have some fine particles, like cinnamon in your lungs, it may be hard to clear out,” said Dr. Robert Zaid of Providence Hospital.
He says as you try to cough those particles out of your lungs, you may end up in trouble.
“Your lungs can kind of collapse on you. There have been several cases reported where kids needed ventilator support because they weren’t able to maintain their airway.”
Many of the videos of folks attempting this challenge have hundreds of thousands, in some cases more than a million views. Most kids checking out the videos of others attempting this dare have no idea it can be so dangerous.
Dr. Zaid says parents should warn their kids that trying to go viral on-line with dares such as the “Cinnamon Challenge” could land them in the hospital.