Doctors warn kids against dangers of viral 'Cinnamon Challenge'
Kim Russell, WXYZ
11:26 AM, Mar 7, 2012
10:41 AM, Mar 9, 2012
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.
"They try to swallow it, which is impossible," said Emma Claussen.
The middle school student from Birmingham, Ala., knew about the "Cinnamon Challenge." Her dad did not.
Claussen said 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," Clausen said. "It is kind of gross."
Doctors said 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 in Mobile, Ala.
He said 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," Zaid said.
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 said parents should warn their kids that trying to go viral online with dares such as the "Cinnamon Challenge" could land them in the hospital.
Click on the video players below to watch some of the "Cinnamon Challenge" videos. (Note to mobile users: Open story in a web browser to view videos.)