People have died playing this childhood game.

Not many people realise how dangerous it can be.

Hands up who’s heard of the game Chubby Bunny.

I know about this game, not only from playing it myself, but from my five-year-old daughter talking to me about it. You and an ‘opponent’ take turns placing marshmallows in your mouth, one at a time, saying ‘chubby bunny’ each time and counting how many you manage to fit in.

Whomever fits in the most, wins.

If they don’t gag or choke first.

Normally the biggest problem with playing the game, remembered from my limited experience, is dribbling.

“So can we buy marshmallows Mum,” she asked after finishing her explanation of the game. “Then we can play Chubby Bunny”

“Hmm, let me think about it,” I said to her, as we drove to the grocery store.

“When she says ‘let me think about it’ she means no,” my ten-year-old son stated. Smart boy that one, smart boy.

Gwyneth Paltrow was challenged to a round of Chubby Bunny by chef Jamie Oliver.

Chubby Bunny is not just a waste of perfectly good marshmallows, it is disgusting because it requires you to spit all the marshmallows out at the end. There are just way too many to chew and swallow. If you do try and swallow, or laugh, or cough, you can choke. Yep, choke on marshmallows. So why do kids play this potentially dangerous game? For the same reason kids do most dangerous things...because it looks like fun and because other kids are doing it.

There are lots of YouTube videos showing people playing it, even one featuring One Direction's Harry Styles and Niall Horan, during an interview with YouTube star Zoella. Even Gwyneth Paltrow who was challenged to the game by chef Jamie Oliver.

One Direction playing Chubby Bunny during a YouTube interview with Zoella in 2013.

People have died playing it.

In June of 1999 a little girl named Casey Fish, 12, died playing the game at a school fair in the US. The instructor overseeing the game had allegedly momentarily left the room. Her distraught parents spoke to Oprah about that fateful day. She choked and subsequently suffocated to death. Then in 2006 Janet Rudd, 32, died after playing the game at a fair in London, Canada.


Another danger parents need to be aware of is when kids decide to play Chubby Bunny using something likes grapes, cases of which have been reported. Obviously Chubby Bunny is way more dangerous when played using grapes and while deaths from the marshmallow version of it are rare, we need to be aware of the risks, and talk to our children about them.

Explain that games involving stuffing their faces with food can be dangerous, they should be played safely under adult supervision, they should use small marshmallows, not gigantic ones, they should stop if it becomes too much, and signal if they need help.

Tell them to stuff them in their cheeks, not the back of their throats.

Tell them not to play it. Hope that they listen.

Chubby Bunny is quite simply not an appropriate game for kids to play.

Or you can do what I did, which is tell them they can't play it, hope they never do it behind your back and then, just in case they do decide to play Chubby Bunny at a friend's house, go through the risks and guidelines.

Chubby Bunny doesn't seem dangerous and normally it's not. However kids are little and need instruction on how to play, excellent supervision and first-aid-trained parents if it's to be played.

Have you ever played Chubby Bunny? Are you aware of any occasions when your children have played it?

Want more? Try:

Doctors warn against this dangerous YouTube challenge.

10 games to play outside with your kids: no screens allowed.

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