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The cinnamon challenge: Lock up the spice rack? Add to ...

Parents are used to keeping kids from household dangers from the time they’re born. When they’re toddlers, that means those nasty cleaners under the sink. When they’re teens, it’s the liquor cabinet.

But now, oddly enough, there’s an argument brewing that the spice rack may also need to be quarantined.

If they’re old enough to film a YouTube video, kids may be gullible enough to try something called the “cinnamon challenge,” a dare to try to swallow a spoonful of cinnamon in a minute without water.

A growing YouTube genre documents the results: people spit, sputter and cough clouds of cinnamon – dubbed “dragon’s breath” – before they ultimately fail.

Apparently the impossible dare has been around for the past decade, but doctors and educators are warning parents that they’ve seen an uptick in the dare – and injuries – this past year. As you can imagine, breathing in the dusty spice is bad for the lungs. In one recent case, a Michigan teen ended up unconscious and was hospitalized.

She had aspirated the spice and was unable to breathe. She spent four days in the hospital with a collapsed lung and infection, according to reports.

And it’s not just foolish kids attempting the dare. Last month, “a Mississippi police chief and four of his staff were fired after they allegedly filmed themselves encouraging a mentally disabled man to eat cinnamon,” The Ypsilanti Courier reports.

Even those who appear to promote the activity warn kids not to try it. includes a caveat: “Do not attempt the cinnamon challenge without talking with a doctor. Obviously they are going to tell you not to do it. The cinnamon challenge can be dangerous and shouldn’t be taken lightly … there are over 30,000 cinnamon challenge videos on YouTube. Below are some of the more popular ones, so watch movies of people already feeling the pain.”

Have you heard of the cinnamon challenge? Parents, will you be adding this to the ever-growing list of things to urge your kids not to try?

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