School officials warn parents of students snorting Smarties
Portsmouth Middle School officials sent out a note this week to parents warning of the dangers of snorting and smoking Smarties.
"It used to be one of the candies I used to get in my Halloween bag," said Lyn Wooten, who has a grandson and a granddaughter who attend the school.
However, Wooten is looking at Smarties a lot differently.
"It goes to show you how something so innocent can turn into something unpleasant. It's sad really," she said.
School officials sent parents an email telling them some students were participating in a new craze to crunch up the candy and snort, inhale or smoke the dust.
The school principal told NBC 10 they sent out the note, but would not answer additional questions.
"You're happy to be made aware of it so that you can be proactive and be on top of the kids," Wooten said.
If you eat too many of the colorful disc-shaped candy, you could have problems with your dentist. But if you smoke or inhale them, the problems can be much worse and you could end up at the hospital.
"I think the kids are experiencing some kind of sugar rush from it. That can definitely happen. But I think the thing about it, because it sounds so innocent, is that it can scar your lungs. Even respiratory arrest can happen from the snorting of candies," said Dr. Stephanie Hartsell of Hasbro Children's Hospital
There haven't been any reported incidents of children smoking or snorting the candy at Rhode Island Hospital or Hasbro Children's Hospital, but doctors are bracing for it.
In an extreme case, an infection could lead to maggots trying to eat leftover sugars in the nostrils.
Hartsell said it's a new trend that's part of a slew of online dares.
"While we haven't seen maggots, it is something where infection can get into the lungs and kids can get very, very sick from this," she said.
Wooten said she plans to have a talk with her grandchildren.
"Of course I'm going to say they wouldn't do that. I hope they wouldn't do that," she said.