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Trends like the “Cinnamon Challenge” have been around for several years, and with the recent “Tide Pod Challenge,” many parents are concerned about how they can keep their children safe from these seemingly harmless games. Not all games originating from the internet are harmful, after all—the ALS Ice-Bucket Challenge being one of the harmless ones that helped to raise awareness about a serious illness. We have to wonder: when is it dangerous?

Today, we are going to discuss some of these popular internet challenges of the recent past. We’ll see what parts of them are harmless, and which parts are dangerous. Being able to teach your children why some of these trending games should be avoided will help your family stay safe.

The Cinnamon Challenge

The Cinnamon Challenge is when someone is dared to swallow a spoonful of ground cinnamon in 60 seconds, without any water. At first, this just sounds gross, but not unsafe. Cinnamon is edible, after all, right?

But the problem with this internet challenge is not poison, it is powder. Consuming large amounts of powdered substances creates a risk of aspirating the cinnamon—AKA: inhaling the powder. Aspiration of any powder, cinnamon or otherwise, is very dangerous. It is a choking risk that can damage the lungs and even result in the need of a ventilator in some cases.

Any kind of game or challenge that involves eating powdered food, cinnamon or otherwise, is big risk to your child’s lungs.

The Tide Pod Challenge

This year we have heard about this internet challenge on the news. While the dangers of eating any kind of laundry detergent pod seem self-explanatory, it is important to know what exactly is so harmful about it.

Surprising as it may be, many older children and teens are biting into laundry detergent pods, all for the sake of an internet joke. Many of these kids and teens know that laundry detergent isn’t edible, but many of them do not realize just how toxic these pods can be. When talking to your kids about the risks of this challenge, it is important to stress that just one bite can be enough to send you to the ER. Laundry detergent inside the pods is highly concentrated and toxic, meaning that even a little bit getting into your mouth can cause harm to your stomach. Taking part in the Tide Pod Challenge can easily make you vomit, pass out, have seizures, and even turn fatal. It is very poisonous, no matter how much of the detergent you consume.

There is no safe way to take part in this challenge.

Chubby Bunny

This is a game that has been around for a very long time. It has been a popular slumber party game for decades, and many parents have played Chubby Bunny, just as much as children have. This game involves the challenge to see who can fit the most marshmallows in their mouth while still being able to say “chubby bunny.” Most of the time children stuff their cheeks and wind up spitting out the marshmallows while laughing, but this game has been known to cause serious choking hazards. Some children try so hard to win the game that they will stuff marshmallows down their own throat, blocking their airways.

There have been cases of reported death during these games for children and adults alike, making this traditional slumber party game one that needs to be put to bed.


Internet challenges can come and go quickly, which can make it difficult to keep up with what is or isn’t trending. That is why New Braunfels ER encourages parents to sit down with their children and explain why some of these online games can be so dangerous. If a child knows that they could choke on ground cinnamon, they will be able to tell why trying to swallow coco powder is equally as risky.

In the case of any emergency involving these hazardous games, then seek immediate medical attention. New Braunfels ER is open 24/7 and is equipped to handle pediatric emergency medicine as well as adult emergency medicine.

Nutex Health, Inc. supports you and your family’s health. Come visit New Braunfels ER or any one of our concierge-level freestanding facilities for the emergency care you deserve, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.