The Cinnamon Challenge
Published: Saturday, April 28, 2012
Updated: Monday, April 30, 2012 23:04
The Cinnamon Challenge has been making its way through the Internet and into the homes of teens and young adults for over a decade, but in 2012 there has been a spike in awareness due to the thousands of YouTube videos going online. This has gotten the attention of concerned parents, doctors and the Poison Control Center.
The Cinnamon Challenge is “accomplished” after a person can successfully eat a spoonful of cinnamon in under 60 seconds without drinking water or throwing up. The problem is that many spices are dry enough that a person’s reflexes cause them to cough and choke instead of swallowing it.
“I think it’s a stupid thing to do,” says Celine Sanborn, a senior at Amesbury High School in Massachusetts. “It’s stupid to do because it hurts, but it’s funny to watch.”
Parents have been warned due to the new attention being brought about and it has even had doctors and the Poison Control Center raising awareness of the danger in overdosing on cinnamon.
What those outlets do not often mention is that the legitimate danger is exaggerated. The problem should have much less to do with the challenge itself, but instead, focus on educating teenagers of the health risks and not putting themselves in dangerous situations. Instead of scaring parents, focus on how they can teach their children to not harm themselves, which could cause them to need hospitalization or the need to call Poison Control in the first place.
The lack of education is not only behind this “challenge” but also many others as teenagers feel the need to try anything, which could give them the label as “cool”.
Teens are always going to find something new and stupid to try. After the media hype is through with this, they will focus on a new danger that could “kill your child”. As much as people would like to blame this generation, they forget that 10 years ago it was huffing paint thinners, or Sharpies, or even in the 70’s the Ramones were singing “I wanna sniff some glue”
More potentially lethal than overdosing on cinnamon, is the trend of teenagers now attempting to get drunk by consuming hand sanitizer. Often combined with mouthwash, the risks of this far outweigh the gains, and it illustrates the need for better education and prevention.
“I think that teenagers don’t realize that drinking hand sanitizer is similar to drinking rubbing alcohol which can cause blindness or death,” says Emily Sichel, a senior History major at Suffolk University. “That being said, one can assume that reduced school budgets and the cutting of health programs in our schools has caused stupidity in our youths.”