The common cooking ingredient that stole a little boy's life.

Doctors say this is a message that needs to be shared.

It’s in every kitchen cupboard – a common spice you probably use quite often. An ingredient you would’t think twice about, but after reading this you just might realise its dangers.

A family in the US attended a funeral yesterday for their four-year old son who died after ingesting a small amount of powdered cinnamon he found in a container in his kitchen.

Matthew Radar, aged four. ( Facebook)

His distraught mother now warning other families to be aware – cinnamon can kill.

Four-year old Matthew Rader was playing in the kitchen in his family home in Kentucky in the US when he climbed on top of the counter and accessed a jar of powdered cinnamon.

A typical adventurous four-year old he decided to taste it.

Brianna Radar.

Within seconds he was choking. The previously healthy little boy’s turn shocking his mother.

“It was like he was having a seizure and just collapsed,” his mum, Brianna Rader told WLEX.

Matthew died after ingesting cinnamon.

She rang an ambulance but Matthew was pronounced dead an hour and a half later.

The coroner ruled the tragic death was accidental and said cinnamon asphyxiation is a common problem when the powder is inhaled.

His devastated family have used Facebook to warn other parents of the dangers of this simple spice.

It “helps ease my breaking heart just a little to think that just maybe my baby’s story can save even just one child’s life,” Ms Radar wrote.

“Cinnamon can kill,” Ms Rader told WLEX, speaking out in a bid to save other lives. “All these kids, they don’t think about the fact it can hurt them.”


She is referring to the popular food challenge the “Cinnamon Challenge” a popular viral food stunt.

Dr. Robert Cox, the Medical Director of the Mississippi Poison Control Center told Action News 5 that the popular cinnamon challenge, where teenagers upload videos on YouTube of them trying to hold ground cinnamon into their mouths, could be deadly.

Tens of thousands of “Cinnamon Challenge” videos exist. The videos show the young  teenagers coughing, choking and lunging for water.

Dr. Cox says while there is nothing in cinnamon that makes it poisonous.  It becomes a threat to the respiratory system when it’s used incorrectly and inhaled.

“Cinnamon is basically tree bark and it doesn’t dissolve,” said Dr. Cox. “It doesn’t go away, so it just sits there in the lungs and it’s irritating and can cause severe pneumonitis, or irritation to the lungs.”

“In the home, we have lots of potentially dangerous things,” he said. “All of those cabinets need to stay locked up. Children do not need access to those cabinets.”

For the mother of Matthew, who is coming to terms with a life without her little boy it is a message that all parents need share. “Keep spices away from children.”

It could be fatal.

For immediate help call the  Poisons Information Centre on 13 11 26.

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