When Students Make Each Other Choke; Is Your Child Participating?

Dangerous, dangerous, dangerous, and, worse.

I used to participate in a game that I’ll reference later. The choking game is simply a variation on a theme; parents need to be aware of it.

The “Choking Game”is the latest teen fad that is making the news. The choking game though isn’t really new. The choking game is just a variation on an old theme.

William Lee Adams reporting out of London for “Time” Magazine has posted an article titled, “A Dangerous Pastime for Teens: The Choking Game.”

What is the choking game?

The choking game is where a kid is choked by another kid until he or she passes out or becomes euphoric. The problem is that by doing that a person’s heart may stop.

Adams references a14 year old in France who was found by his mother with a belt around his neck. He was trying to get “high” and it killed him.

The choking game goes by other names including “funky chicken,” “sleeper hold” and the “blackout.”

Are there signs I can look for?

In a word, yes. If a youngster mentions a “neat new game” beware. If they complain of headaches they may be involved. Further odd markings on their necks can tell you they have been trying to “get high.”

As it turns out only about one in three physicians are aware of the condition so there is not a lot of discussion about the practice.

There are mixed feelings in the medical community about making kids more aware of the practice about the choking game. They are afraid that giving more details about the game could cause more kids to do it rather than to avoid it.

There are medical records that show a history of this game or a form of it all the way back to the 18th century.

The United States has reports of 1,000 teens dying each year but it is believed that there are many more that are treated as suicides.

I can remember participating in something similar when I was in the 8th grade. This would have been about 1962. Right there we have almost a 50-year history.

The way we used to “play it” was for someone to take several deep breaths. Then, the person would hold their breath. Another student would grab them from behind around their chest and squeeze. They would become lightheaded and in some cases would briefly pass out.

In our case this was actually done in school so obviously we didn’t have enough supervision.

It is a very dangerous practice and is something parents and schools need to be hyper-vigilant about.

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