Parents in Rhode Island are being warned that their children could succumb to horrifying infestations of nasal maggots worming in their noses, internal bleeding and lung infections if they continue snorting Smarties candies.
The skin-crawling consequences of the unusual trend which seeks to imitate cocaine users seen on television, are caused by a condition called nasal myiasis - which occurs when flies lay larvae eggs inside the nose - attracted by the rotting candy rammed up inside the lining.
According to officials in Portsmouth Middle School, the trend is a 'widespread phenomenon' that has been sweeping YouTube in recent years and has involved over a dozen students in the area.
Parents have been warned to watch their children to see if they develop a tickling sensation inside their noses and ask them if they begin to smell a foul stench from inside their nasal passage.
Symptoms of nasal maggots are sneezing and a gooey discharge that can lead to mucus emanating from the patient's eyelids - and in worse cases can lead to septicemia and serious infection.
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Parents have been warned to watch their children to see if they develop a tickling sensation inside their noses and ask them if they begin to smell a foul stench from inside their nasal passage
Sugar high: Parents are being warned of a craze sweeping middles school where kids crush up Smarties candies and snort or 'smoke' them
Scary trend: YouTube is filled with videos showing children sniffing lines of Smarties powder through rolled up dollar bills and straws
A search of theYouTube has revealed hundreds of clips where kids are seen crushing the beloved round candies into powder before sniffing them.
The Smarties snorting trend is by no means a new phenomenon; some of the YouTube videos date back to at least 2007.
The clip, which has drawn more than 12,000 views, shows the kids coughing and gasping for air as the residue fills their nasal passages and lungs.
Sugary treat: Smarties contain no addictive ingredients and do not provide a high when ingested
Sounding the alarm: The administration of Portsmouth Middle School in Rhode Island sent an email to parents alerting them to the dangers of Smarties snorting
On Thursday, parents at Portsmouth Middle School were shocked to receive an email from the administration warning them of the risks their kids could face when snorting Smarties, including lung infections; nose-wedged maggots; bleeding and nasal passage scarring; allergic reactions and even smoker's cough.
Side effects of Smarties snorting:
According to the letter made public by local blogger and parent John McDaid, kids who inhale crushed-up candies could be more susceptible to drug and nicotine addiction later in life compared to their peers.
Some kids prefer to 'smoke' Smarties by pouring the powdered sweets into their mouths and then exhaling through the nose.
It is important to note that Smarties - made up of dextrose, citric acid, calcium stearate, flavoring and coloring agents - do not provide any high.
Rebecca Boss, of the Rhode Island Department of Behavioral Healthcare, told the station ABC6 that parents should always be on the lookout for changes in behavior in their children.
The Sun News reported that Portsmouth Middle School parents were alerted to the trend after 15 students at Frontier Middle School in Hamburg, New York, were discovered sniffing Smarties, according to Interim Superintendent of Schools Paul Hashem.
The craze is not limited to the Northeast. In Atlanta, Georgia, a 9-year-old boy has been suspended for allegedly inhaling Smarties dust through his nose.
YouTube is filled with hundreds of videos going as far back as 2007 showing kids doing lines of Smarties