The 'One Chip Challenge' Is Back and No One Has Time for This Foolishness

School districts are telling everyone to cool it with the Paqui #OneChipChallenge after kids needed medical attention following the consumption of the spicy chip.

Blue tortilla chip on red background

As the school year begins, parents and students often need some reminders: Where to go for drop-off, what qualifies as a fever, and, apparently, not to participate in the "One Chip Challenge."

The challenge, which involves eating spicy chips by Paqui, was hot in 2016 and is once again circulating, this time thanks to TikTok. Schools are warning parents and students about the potential dangers, including hospitalization.

For the unaware, the #OneChipChallenge requires participants to eat a chip with Carolina Reaper and Scorpion peppers. Pepper retailer calls Carolina Reaper peppers the world's hottest, followed by Scorpion peppers. To participate in the challenge, someone needs to wait as long as possible to eat or drink anything and post video reactions on social media, according to the brand website.

As you might guess, consuming a mix of the two is…a lot. But the pepper doesn't just induce tears and the need to guzzle water. Paqui swears consuming one chip, which comes individually in a coffin wrapper, turns a participant's tongue blue.

Paqui warns that the challenge isn't for everyone on their website. People should not try it if they are:

  • Sensitive to spicy foods
  • Allergic to peppers, nightshades, or capsaicin
  • Pregnant
  • Have medical conditions

Paqui also states to keep out of reach of children and to call for medical assistance if you have trouble breathing, faint, or have "extended nausea."

But schools don't want students trying them at all. One Texas middle school said three students went to the hospital after taking the challenge.

"Many people experience severe abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and difficulty breathing that can last more than 24 hours and lead to more severe health complications. Parents, PLEASE talk with your children about the dangers of this challenge," read a Facebook post on the district's page obtained by a local FOX affiliate.

A Kentucky elementary school also reported more than a dozen students experienced reactions from vomiting to severe mouth burning. One student had trouble breathing. Meanwhile, a Colorado school banned the challenge and chips, threatening suspension for students who broke the rules.

Whether they're banned in your child's school or not, it's best to avoid allowing them to take the challenge or bring the chips. There are plenty of safer things to munch on at lunch.

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  1. Is the one chip challenge dangerous?. National Capital Poison Control. 2022.

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