Cinnamon Stunt Can Have Serious Lung Effects
Researchers warn that highly cited kids' 'challenge' can land them in the ER
Plus, it's not only teenagers who are flaunting their encounters with the Cinnamon Challenge. Celebrities and even politicians have posted their own videos, both Lipshultz and Hantsch pointed out.
"And then if their peers start doing it, too, kids feel social pressure to try it," Lipshultz said.
What can parents do, short of locking up the spice rack? Hantsch suggested parents pay attention to what their kids are viewing online, and talk with them about the potential dangers of this seemingly harmless stunt.
Lipshultz agreed. If kids know there are serious risks, they might be dissuaded. "Our hope is that if they have the information, they'll make smarter decisions," he said.
Cinnamon is not the only spice of abuse, however. Ground nutmeg -- when snorted, smoked or eaten in large amounts -- can create a marijuana-like high, Hantsch noted.
Unfortunately, she added, "there are many household items that can be abused."
Those range from glue to hand sanitizers to aerosol cooking sprays -- and even marshmallows. A challenge popular with kids, Hantsch said, is the "Chubby Bunny," where you shove as many marshmallows into your mouth as possible, then try to say the words "chubby bunny."
At least two children have choked to death trying the stunt, she added.