Hamilton Co. school warns of 'cinnamon challenge'
CHATTANOOGA (WRCB)- A Hamilton County school is warning parents and students about a popular dare game known by the younger generation as the "cinnamon challenge."
As part of the challenge, a person attempts to swallow an entire teaspoon of dry cinnamon without vomiting or inhaling. In recent years, thousands of YouTube videos have been posted, few succeed.
A Hamilton County school nurse says the cinnamon challenge does pose health dangers aside from the danger of making a fool of yourself.
A voicemail alert and email went out to parents Thursday at Chattanooga School for Arts and Sciences. The assistant principal says he wants to make parents aware of this trend and why it's potentially dangerous.
Sugar and spice are not always nice.
One quick search of YouTube reveals hundreds of videos of children and adults taking on the cinnamon challenge.
"The challenge apparently is to swallow a heaping spoonful of cinnamon without following it with water or any kind of liquid," says Jim Boles, Assistant Principal at CSAS.
He sent out an email alert and a voice message to parents, warning them about the cinnamon challenge after some suspicious activity in the school cafeteria.
"We noticed on Monday that there was a bunch of cinnamon on one of the tables here at school," says Boles.
It turns out, a group of kids was trying the challenge. The next day he spoke to the students.
"When I heard all the little laughs and chuckles, I was really surprised at how many people actually knew what it was," he says.
He warned them of the potential dangers.
The school nurse says the spice can get caught in the throat, saying not only could this cause choking, but, if the fine powder is inhaled, it can also cause temporary but severe chest pain.
The nurse for CSAS notified the head nurse for Hamilton County and she plans on notifying all Hamilton County schools.
"It's very scary because kids these days they do things and they're not aware of the dangers of it," says Stacy Bradford, who has a 5th grader at CSAS.
She says the email notification led to a conversation with her son.
"He heard of it before through a friend but he didn't know that it was dangerous," she says. "He just thought it was a game."
Bradford says she is thankful the school made her aware.
Boles says he just wants to make sure parents are informed and that students fill their time in a better way.
"Maybe we're not giving enough homework, I'm not sure. Maybe we need to fill their time up a little bit," says Boles.
We checked with the head nurse for the county. She says there have been no serious reports of injuries.
Boles says one student a CSAS complained of a stomach ache afterwards.
Again, the head nurse plans on sending out a notice to all Hamilton County Schools, discouraging the cinnamon challenge.