A Candy Called “Dragon’s Breath” Caused This Boy To Have A Severe Asthma Attack
A new candy craze called “Dragon’s Breath” recently sent a 7-year-old boy to the hospital, according to his mother, Rachel Richard McKenny. In a Facebook post, McKenny shared that her son Johnny suffered an asthma attack after consuming Dragon’s Breath at a St. Augustine, Florida mall. She’s now warning other parents of the harm the liquid nitrogen-infused candy can potentially cause.
“There is a snack served at mall kiosks called ‘Dragon’s Breath’. It’s a liquid nitrogen infused cereal that, when eaten, allows you to blow smoke like a dragon,” McKenny wrote in her Facebook post, which has been shared over 100,000 times since its July 25th posting. She continued, “Johnny saw it and wanted to try it yesterday. Unfortunately, I let him.”
McKenny explained to her friends and followers that Johnny, who has asthma — yet rarely needs to be treated with his prescription inhaler or nebulizer — started coughing minutes after eating the Dragon’s Breath candy. The cough worsened during the family’s 40-minute drive home and Johnny began to have a hard time catching his breath.
Not thinking Johnny would have to endure a lot of physical activity during a simple trip to the mall, McKenny had left his emergency inhaler at home.
“We knew he couldn’t breathe, and we knew that we couldn’t get him to the hospital in time,” McKenny wrote.
Luckily, McKenny’s husband knew of a fire station located along their route. There, EMTs immediately began treating Johnny with albuterol and hooked him up to an IV. Johnny ultimately needed a shot of epinephrine and a second breathing treatment in the ambulance en route to the hospital.
“What triggered this? The liquid nitrogen smoke from the Dragon’s Breath cereal,” McKenny explained. “PLEASE, if you know someone that has even just a mild case of asthma, do NOT let them have this snack. I should have known better, but it did not occur to me that this food could have this effect. As a result, my son could have died.”
Fortunately, there’s a happy ending to this story.
Johnny is doing much better and is currently recovering at home. McKenny reminded her Facebook following that keeping inhalers and nebulizers on you at all times is important, but even so, she’s not sure if those treatments would have been enough to save Johnny from the effects of Dragon’s Breath.
People Health Squad’s Pediatrician, Dr. Elizabeth Murray, noted that ingesting liquid nitrogen causes “sudden exposure to very cold (or sometimes very hot) air,” which can trigger wheezing. “Anyone with asthma will always be better off avoiding any type of smoke and very cold or very hot air.”
With the popularity of Dragon’s Breath on the rise, cautionary tales like this should be shared to make sure those with asthma refrain from putting themselves in harm’s way.