YPSILANTI, Mich. (WXYZ) - Dejah Reed has tried the "Cinnamon Challenge" a few times.
"I thought it would be fun," says Reed.
It has become a popular dare seen on websites like YouTube and Facebook. The challenge calls for swallowing a spoonful of cinnamon without any water in less than a minute.
When she tried it two weeks ago, Dejah says "It was caught in my throat. I couldn't breathe … it almost killed me that night."
Dejah's dad rushed her to the hospital.
"She was going in and out of consciousness. She couldn't breathe. She was turning pale," says Fred Reed.
Dejah says the cinnamon got into her lungs. Her father says the Huron High School freshman's right lung collapsed and she got an infection from it. She spent four days in the hospital and is still having chest pains and some shortness of breath.
"I hope parents and kids learn that it's not fun and games. She could have died," says Fred Reed.
Dejah says she will never take the cinnamon challenge again and hopes others will learn from her story.
When her school found out what happened, the principal sent this letter home to parents as a warning.
We have become aware of an activity that is occurring in our community called the Cinnamon Challenge. We are trying to take a proactive approach in educating the Huron community on the dangers that exist in what may seem like a harmless teenage activity.
The Cinnamon Challenge consists of attempting to ingest a tablespoon of cinnamon in under a minute without drinking any water.
Many teens video tape the experience and post it to Facebook or YouTube.
The challenge can be a very dangerous activity where the cinnamon can cause coughing, choking, vomiting and hypoxia. The cinnamon can be aspirated into the lungs and cause pneumonia. Recently, a local youth was hospitalized for multiple days due to participating in the Cinnamon Challenge.
Attached is a very informative video link that addresses the dangers of the Cinnamon Challenge. Please speak with your teens and warn them that this is not a harmless activity and that there can be severe medical consequences associated with it.