by Emily Abbate
There are handfuls of ridiculous trends that teens get into: planking, car surfing, vodka eyeballing, we've heard 'em all. A report released by the American Academy of Pediatrics today urges teens to STOP with one of them: The cinnamon challenge.
You've heard of it, I'm sure. Teens dare one another to swallow a spoonful of ground cinnamon without water in under 60 seconds. Sounds easy, right? Wrong. Since the spice is caustic, taking a whole spoonful without water could cause throat irritation, breathing trouble, choking, and frighteningly enough -- collapsed lungs.
Now, doctors want everyone to realize that this fad isn't just some funny random thing kids do at parties. It's sending more and more teens to emergency rooms across the country. This is really dangerous.
The report revealed that 30 teens nationwide needed medical attention after attempting the challenge last year alone. Even worse -- between 2011 and 2012, the amount of poison control center calls about teens doing the prank rose from 51 to 222. As if that info isn't frightening enough, there are websites dedicated to the challenge, YouTube videos galore. Teens EVERYWHERE are in on it.
I can try and understand the mentality behind wanting to take the challenge. These teens want to prove that they can do this, that they're invincible. They think that the repercussions don't apply to them.
The truth is that no one is invincible to this challenge. No one can predict how their body will react to the cinnamon. And with this latest warning published in the journal Pediatrics today, it's the job of parents to make sure that teens understand this. As a parent you can't go with them everywhere or watch their every move. You can warn them about the dangers, though. Apparently if you haven't had a conversation with your kiddo about this challenge, it's definitely time.
Have you talked to your teen about the cinnamon challenge? Have you heard of it?