Doctors warn risks of viral video "Cinnamon Challenge"


(WKTV) - A recent report in the Journal of Pediatrics shows that the stunt called "The Cinnamon Challenge" is leading to a growing number of calls to poison control centers and emergency room visits. Tens of thousands of videos are on YouTube of kids taking the dare to swallow a spoonful of ground cinnamon, however doctors warn the dangers of the seemingly harmless dare.

The videos show kids and adults trying to swallow a spoonful of ground cinnamon then coughing, choking and lunging for water usually as friends watch and laugh. However doctors say it's health risks are no laughing matter.

"The reaction to the presence of the cinnamon causes a change to the lung itself which changes the internal architecture of the lining its self making it scar," said Dr. Michael Walsh of Faxton St.Luke's Healthcare. "And once it scars it's no longer as effective."

Dr.Walsh says there have been no long term human studies on inhaling cinnamon yet, however studies looking at animals who have inhaled similar substances show long lasting changes in the lungs.

"The biggest population at risk is people who have chronic lung disease already, kids that have asthma, kids that have an unknown allergy or sensitivity to what they're breathing in those cases it can be an emergency," said Dr. Walsh.

Dr. Walsh says to prevent this parents should have open communication with their kids about what they're watching online and trying with friends.

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