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updated: 4/24/2013 8:31 PM

West Chicago police issue warning about dangers of new prank

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Rosemary Mackey

West Chicago, Illinois: April 23, 2013 -- The City of West Chicago Police Department has issued a warning to parents of school age children to be aware of a dangerous new prank which involves a common ingredient found in most home food pantries -- cinnamon.

The flavor enhancing spice is being misused by some children and young adults nationwide in a fad that dares them to swallow a spoonful of it in 60 seconds without water. The "cinnamon challenge" as it has come to be known, has caused a spike in emergency room cases and calls to poison control centers throughout the U.S.

According to the Huffington Post, doctors are taking the trend seriously and issuing warnings to parents to be vigilant about their children's online viewing habits, where videos have been posted depicting the stunt being performed, and to have conversations about the dangerous consequences involved in the cinnamon challenge which can include choking, throat irritation, breathing problems and even collapsed lungs. For the full article, visit this article in the Huffington Post.

West Chicago Police Chief Laz Perez hopes that educating parents and children of the health issues associated with the misuse of cinnamon will prevent unfortunate incidents from occurring. "We just want to keep our community's children safe," he said.