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The world of TikTok is a strange one, as there always seems to be a challenge of some kind. Some of them come across as being rather lighthearted, while others make us wonder what is going through people’s minds. This one falls into the latter category and the police have issued a warning to parents who are allowing their little ones to participate.

The TikTok challenge that we are referring to is the “spicy gum challenge” and it is sending children to the hospital left and right. The Southborough Police Department issued a warning on Facebook, explaining: “ as well as several other vendors sell a chewing gum that contains the same active ingredient as police pepper spray, oleoresin capsicum.”

Photo: Facebook/Southborough Police Department

“Police level pepper spray is normally rated to one to two million Scoville heat units. This is a way to measure the amount of heat an individual feels when they come into contact. This gum is rated at 16 million Scoville Heat Units,” the post continued.

The police department stressed the seriousness of the situation, saying: “Anyone found to have used the gum should be treated for extensive exposure to oleoresin capsicum. Immediately have them rinse, swish around, spit out water. Do this as many times as possible. If, by chance, they have actually swallowed the saliva, they may vomit and have difficulty breathing. These individuals should be evaluated and transported to an emergency room.

Photo: Pixabay/Paul Brennan

There is no reason to let children partake in this one, near as we can tell. 10 elementary students at Dexter Park School in Orange, Massachusetts had to head to the hospital after being exposed to the spicy gum.

“It’s something you see out of a horror movie. Honestly, it felt like these kids were under attack,” concerned parent Kathleen Woodward told Western Mass News. She was called to the school because her 9-year-old son, Michael, was one of the children who tried the spicy gum. We cannot begin to imagine what type of ordeal this was for her and we are glad that this family made it through.

Photo: TikTok/@dokaryan

For parents who are looking to keep their little ones away from the potentially harmful gum, it is known as CaJohns Trouble Bubble Bubble Gum. They even have ads that challenge those who chew it to successfully blow a bubble. The viral challenge was sparked from there and now, children are paying the price for trying it out.

The #troublebubble hashtag has since gotten 11 million views on TikTok, as viewers try their best to complete the very painful challenge.


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This challenge has been around for two years now but has recently come to prominence. The packs of gum are also still being sold on Amazon for $15 apiece.

“I walked in and kids were crying. They were just lined up down the hall, in the front hall area. Their hands were red, their faces were beet red, and they were crying saying it hurt. Some of them were like a deep red” Woodard explained.

This is awful and we hope no more children are forced to go through this horrific experience.