“Cinnamon Challenge” Can Leave You Choking For Air

Fred Bodimer
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CBS St. Louis (con't)

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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) –  Surely by now you’ve seen them online or on “funny video” shows — people swallowing spoonfuls of cinnamon and struggling to keep it down, usually with their friends laughing at them.

Now, a St. Louis doctor is warning kids (and adults) who think this looks like a lot of fun that it can actually be a recipe for a health disaster.

“People have choked from eating dry peanut butter without any liquids.” Dr. Anthony Scalzo with Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center tells KMOX News health editor Fred Bodimer. “This (cinnamon) is a dry power which causes irritation of the mouth and throat, and it’s quite possible that somebody could just choke to death.”

Dr. Scalzo says he’s already received a couple of calls at Cardinal Glennon’s poison center about complications from taking the so-called “Cinnamon Challenge”.

He thinks there have been other cases of people in distress from swallowing cinnamon but says some people probably just don’t know where to call.

Some schools are now even sending out letters to parents warning them of the dangers of swallowing cinnamon, especially for children suffering from asthma problems.

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