William Mc Call of AP writes about the “choking game” in a story reprinted in the Seattle Times.
A new report suggests a large number of eighth-graders in Oregon have taken part in the “choking game,” the dangerous practice of choking each other to get a feeling of euphoria.
As many as 2,600 eighth-graders may have risked injury, long-term disability or even death by trying the so-called “game” that also carries nicknames such as “Pass-Out,” “Space Monkey,” “Flat liner” and “Blackout.”
“That’s a lot of kids,” said Dr. Mel Kohn, the state public health director.
The results of the Oregon Public Health survey released Thursday by the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta were compiled from responses from nearly 8,000 eighth-graders at 114 schools in Oregon.
The survey, conducted in 2008, also showed that more than a third of those eighth-graders had heard about the choking game.
Almost 3 percent of those responding said they had helped someone, while about 6 percent said they had participated themselves.
The survey also indicated that teens in rural areas and those with increased mental health risk factors or involved in substance abuse were more likely to take part in the risky game.
Sarah Ramos, lead author of the report on the survey results, said researchers were not sure what accounted for the differences between rural and urban eighth-graders but it merits further study….
He also noted it was different from autoerotic asphyxiation.
“It’s really not a sexual thing at all,” Kohn said about the teen choking game. “It’s more of a euphoria and getting high kind of goal.”
But Kohn urged parents to watch for warning signs of the practice, including:
– Unexplained marks on the neck.
– Bloodshot eyes.
– Ropes, scarves, belts tied to bedroom furniture or doorknobs.
– Unexplained presence of leashes or bungee cords.
– Pinpoint bleeding spots under the skin on the face, especially the eyelids.
– Discussion or mention of the activity.
– Disorientation, especially after spending time alone.
In 2008, the CDC identified 82 deaths occurring in 31 states from the choking game from 1995 to 2007. In Oregon, an Eagle Point sixth grader died in 2006 from it
The adolescent years can be a time of experimentation and risk taking. The “choking game” is a risky activity that could be fatal and kids need to understand this.
WebMD reports that many doctors are unaware of the “choking game”
Dec. 14, 2009 — Nearly one-third of pediatricians are unaware of a choking game trend among adolescents, according to a new study.
Researchers say doctors who care for young people should learn to recognize warning signs and do more to educate patients about the potentially deadly game.
In the choking game, participants attempt to gain a “high” or euphoric feeling by depriving the brain of oxygen by applying pressure with another person’s hands or with belts, neckties, or other devices. Another variation involves one person taking a deep breath and holding it while a second person hugs them from behind until the first person feels dizzy and passes out.
A recent CDC report estimated that about 85 deaths from 1995 to 2007 were likely caused by participation in choking games, and several incidences of brain injuries have been reported.
If a parent suspects a child is involved in the “choking game” and the parent seeks medical advice, the doctor must be asked how familiar they are with the “choking game.” They should be asked whether they have ever observed or treated a “choking game” case. If your doctor is unfamiliar with the “choking game” you may need a second opinion.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) describes the basics of the “choking game”
What is the choking game?
The choking game is a dangerous activity that older children and early adolescents sometimes play to get a brief high. They either choke each other or use a noose to choke themselves. After just a short time, children can pass out, which may lead to serious injury or even death from hanging or strangulation.
Who is most at risk for death from playing the choking game?
• Boys were much more likely to die from the choking game than girls; 87% of victims were boys.
• Most of the children that died were 11-16 years old (89%).
• Nearly all of the children who died were playing the game alone when they died.
• Deaths have occurred all over the United States; the choking game isn’t limited to one area of the country.
What are some of the other names used for the choking game?
• Pass-out game
• Space monkey
• Suffocation roulette
• Scarf game
• The American dream
• Fainting game
• Something dreaming game
• Purple hazing
• Blacking out/blackout
• Dream game
• Flat liner
• California choke
• Space cowboy
• Purple dragon
• Cloud nine
How quickly can someone die after playing the choking game?
Someone can become unconscious in a matter of seconds. Within three minutes of continued strangulation (i.e., hanging), basic functions such as memory, balance, and the central nervous system start to fail. Death occurs shortly after.
Are there non-fatal, long-term consequences of the choking game?
• Loss of consciousness and death of brain cells due to oxygen deprivation in the brain; coma and seizures may occur in severe cases
• Concussions or broken bones (including jaws) from falls associated with the choking game
• Hemorrhages of the eye
How can the choking game be prevented?
Research is not available on the best strategies to prevent the choking game. However, parents, educators, and health-care providers should be made aware of this public health threat and the warning signs that adolescents may be playing the game.
The fad of the “choking game” was spread by YouTube.
1. Image results for choking game
2. Video results for choking game
The Choking Game
9 min – Aug 12, 2007
the choking game – stop and think
5 min – Nov 28, 2008
The fad of the “choking game” is spread when kids watch these videos.
Julie Rosebush of the Guidance Channel has the following suggestions about preventing the “choking game.”
What You Can Do
1. Teach students that this is not a game and that it’s extremely dangerous. Kids are fascinated by the fact that they can self-induce this type of high without using drugs. They know that it’s risky and dangerous — that’s part of the allure of the game — but few know that it can be deadly.
2. Educate parents of the warning signs to look for.
3. Monitor school bathrooms, playgrounds, closets or closed classrooms, and other opportunities where students have to be alone together and could play the game
4. Understand that risk taking is a safe and natural part of growing up. Just like adults, for many kids and teens, risk taking is one way of relieving stress. Provide students with alternatives for safer risk taking. There are many activities like, skateboarding or rock climbing, which produce a safe natural endorphin or “high” for kids.
The SADD Teens Today 2004 study research identified the following three broad categories of positive risk-taking. (To view the full release of the study visit http://www.sadd.org/teenstoday/survey04.htm)
Social – e.g. joining a club or group
Emotional – e.g. asking someone on a date or sharing feelings with friends
Physical – e.g. rock climbing
Academic – e.g. taking an advanced placement course
Athletic – e.g. trying out for a sports team
Extracurricular – e.g. running for student councils
Volunteering – e.g. helping the elderly or homeless
Mentoring – e.g. working with younger children
Leading – e.g. starting a business or charity
The choking game is something that is not well-known and is often not talked about. Kids will be secretive about it and may even pretend they don’t know what you’re talking about if you ask. Persevere and let them know how dangerous it is.
Parents must discuss the very serious risks of the “choking game” with their children.
- Heartbroken Dad Warns of “Choking Game”
- CDC’s “Choking Game”
- Games Adolescents Shouldn’t Play (GASP) Stop the Choking Game
- “Choking Game” Turned Deadly for 82 Youths
- Kids and the “Choking Game” Doctors and Pediatricians Must be on the Lookout
Dr. Wilda says this about that ©