TYLER, Texas — Three Tyler ISD middle school students were taken to the hospital Monday after participating in a viral social media challenge involving eating a chip covered in Carolina Reaper and ghost pepper seasonings.
The school district reported Tuesday the “One Chip Challenge" led to parents taking their kids to the hospital and Tyler ISD is warning parents and students about the danger of the social media craze.
In the challenge, people are dared to eat a chip covered in Carolina Reaper and ghost pepper seasonings, two of the world’s hottest peppers.
On the district's Facebook page, school officials said people could experience severe abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and difficulty breathing that can last more than 24 hours and lead to more severe health complications.
Tyler ISD Director of Health Services Rachel Barber said in a statement that students and parents should be aware of the dangers of online challenges on social media.
“The latest One Chip Challenge can cause serious bodily injury and poisoning, and some can even be fatal,” Barber said. “Serious complications such as damaged airways, seizures, and coma have been linked to many of these challenges. Students need to be mindful that while they may get ’likes’ or comments on social media, it could also leave them with life-long health complications that aren’t worth the risk.”
Chief Communications Officer Jennifer Hines said this challenge has been around for a few years now and continues to be a safety and security issue for Tyler ISD students.
“This isn’t the first time one of our students had to go to the hospital after attempting this chip challenge. We had another student taken to the hospital in 2021," Hines said. "Parents, please speak with your children about the seriousness of what could happen when they try to do these social media challenges. We love your children and want them to be safe and healthy.”