An Ann Arbor area high school student has been hospitalized after participating in a 'cinnamon challenge' where students attempt to ingest a teaspoon of cinnamon is less than 60 seconds.

It's a phenomenon that's been catching on with high school students, and its popularity can be attributed partly to social networking sites and YouTube.

It's also dangerous.

The practice can cause coughing, choking, vomiting, hypoxia, and can be aspirated into the lungs which can cause pneumonia. Doctors say it's time to warn your kids about the dangers of the 'cinnamon challenge.'

Dr. Arthur Williams, Principal of Huron High School which the hospitalized student attends, issued the following statement to parents:

This is Dr. Williams with an important message. 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. This 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."

[AnnArbor.com]