Don't Take the "Cinnamon Challenge" Unless You Want to Wind Up in the Hospital, Warns UM Doc

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A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, but a spoonful of cinnamon could lead to a trip in a hospital, you stupid vlogging teen.

A new study co-authored by Dr. Steven E. Lipshultz, a pediatrics professor at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, warns that attempting the YouTube fad is dangerous and that hospital visits related to cinnamon are on the rise.

The cinnamon challenge involves trying to down a spoonful of the ground spice in under a minute without water. It usually ends up like this:

According to the study, which was published today in Pediatrics, 50 teens wound up in the hospital in 2012 after accepting the challenge. Because cinnamon is caustic in large quantities, it can lead to throat irritation, breathing trouble, choking, lung scarring, and, in the most dramatic cases, collapsed lungs.

As a result, poison control centers received 222 calls about cinnamon in 2012. That's up from just 51 in 2011.

So, kids, if you want to try dumb YouTube fads, stick to something that won't have you calling 911. Things like "The Harlem Shake," "My Boyfriend Does My Makeup," and planking might be annoying, but at least they aren't too dangerous.

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