With more teenagers home during the summer, be on the lookout for the Cinnamon Challenge. It begins with a teen being dared to swallow a spoonful of ground cinnamon without drinking water.
The cinnamon coats and dries the mouth and throat, causing gagging, vomiting, coughing, choking and throat irritation. People with asthma or other respiratory conditions are at greater risk of having this result in shortness of breath and trouble breathing.
According to the American Association of Poison Control Center’s National Poison Data System, which collects information in near real-time about every call made to poison centers across the U.S., calls regarding teens and exposure to cinnamon spice have dramatically increased.
Last year, 222 cases of abuse or misuse of cinnamon were reported in the U.S. Wisconsin Poison Center handled 6 cases; 1 person needed medical attention.
Call Wisconsin Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222 if you suspect your child is experiencing any of the Cinnamon Challenge symptoms mentioned above. Dial 9-1-1 immediately if someone:
- Stops breathing
- Has a seizure
- Has a life threatening emergency
- Meg Lesnick, external relations specialist, Wisconsin Poison Center
Wisconsin Poison Center, located in Milwaukee, provides 24-hour, toll-free poison information for all individuals in Wisconsin.