Mom Warns About ‘Carolina Reaper Challenge’ After Pepper Makes Son Sick And She Gets Burned Too

by Ileana Paules-Bronet
Ileana is the Editor of Original Content. She lives in Queens, NY.

If you like spicy food, you may have heard of the Carolina Reaper before. This pepper is ranked the hottest in the world.

The Carolina Reaper hits 2.2 million SHU (Scoville Heat Unit). For comparison, the jalapeño sometimes gets up to 10,000 SHU, and the Scotch bonnet pepper can reach 400,000 SHU.

Even people who love spicy food can barely handle a tiny taste of the Carolina Reaper, let alone an entire pepper.

A while ago, some newscasters in Denver decided to try the Pacqui Chip, which is made with the Carolina Reaper. They all took a bite of the spicy chip, but seemed to immediately regret it. One newscaster completely lost it, coughing and choking on the chip. Eventually, she even threw up!

Well, kids around the country are apparently trying the “Carolina Reaper Challenge,” in which they eat one of these spicy peppers to see (and record) each other’s reactions. One mom is warning other parents about the challenge, though, after kids at her son’s school all ended up at the nurse’s office.

[H/T: Scary Mommy]

tonya post

When the Scary Mommy Facebook page asked followers to “Post a GIF of what it feels like when the school nurse calls,” Tonya Fox came back with a long story.

Her comment got a lot of attention.

Tonya wrote:

It seems only appropriate to share my epic parenting moment that occurred a few weeks ago. I have an inability to keep a long story short so bare with me…

My 12 y/o son called from the nurse’s office and asked that I pick him up because he ate a “really, really, really hot pepper.” It sounded like a bullsh*t excuse to get out of school so I asked him to hand the phone to the school nurse. 

carolina reaper

With the sound of desperation in his voice, he whispered “She really can’t talk right now. She’s super, duper, duper busy. Mom, just please come. Please.”

So, I went down to the school and the office was packed with kids. Most were holding ice packs to their red, puffy eyes and every single one of them looked like their dog had died. 

hot pepper

When my kid walked out, I knew right away that he wasn’t bluffing. He too looked like his dog had died. His eyes were red and swollen. He had spittle on his shirt and seemed to be drooling out of every possible orifice from the neck up. 

The principal approached and begun to explain what happened. Apparently there’s a Hot Carolina Reaper Pepper challenge going around online and a student had brought a large bag of them to school. 

challenge carolina reaper

I always love when natural repercussion takes the place of discipline so not knowing the seriousness of the situation, I started laughing hysterically as the principal told the story. I quickly realized that no one else found it funny when the principal informed me that according to the Guinness Book of World Records, it’s the hottest pepper in the world. 

hottest pepper

He went on to say that many of the kids were vomiting, nearly all had touched their eyes, nose and mouth after handling the peppers. Apparently just contact can light your skin on fire. 

I have to admit, I still laughed my way to the pharmacy and seized every opportunity that I could to assure that my kid got the full experience of natural repercussions. 


The pharmacist tried to pick out a flavorful Mylanta for him and asked rather he prefers antacids in liquid form or tablets. Nope. Give me the most unflavored and grossest you’ve got. 

I planned on keeping him alive but other than that, the kid needed to feel a lil’ misery so that he would be sure to think twice the next time he was dared to do something stupid. I let him know that he was fortunate that I was even providing him with flushable wipes and quality toilet paper. 

carolina reaper pepper

Several hours later, my eyes began to burn. Holy smokes! Apparently the nurse’s office door handle was contaminated from all of the kids coming in. A simple hand washing does not get rid of the pepper so I unwittingly got it in my eyes. By this time, my kid was fine and beside himself that after he’d endured several hours of misery, I was now experiencing it too. 

tonya eyes

These pics are the progression of my eyes.

For a few days afterwards, I had black eyes and what looked like blisters underneath.

youtube pepper

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