ALERT! Teen Hazard!

Published on: November 13, 2008

Filled Under: Ask the Reader (YOU)

Views: 1857

If you have a child age 9-16 or work with teens, this post is a must read! As I sit here, aghast…I have been moved to tears. I’m speechless and was totally unaware of this terrible and unsafe trend among our young people.Yesterday, I saw something on TV that confused me…teens playing a ‘game’ called the Choking Game. It didn’t sound like a fun game to me, but I watched anyway to find out more about it. I found out that “it’s not a game at all—just an act of suffocating on purpose. Adolescents cut off the flow of blood to the brain, in exchange for a few seconds of feeling lightheaded. Some strangle themselves with a belt, a rope or their bare hands; others push on their chest or hyperventilate. When they release the pressure, blood that was blocked up floods the brain all at once. This sets off a warm and fuzzy feeling, which is just the brain dying, thousands of cells at a time.” (http://www.stop-the-choking-game.com)

The Washington Post (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/02/14/AR2008021402089.html) states that at least 82 Choking Game Deaths have been reported. In all of these cases, the parents were unaware that the game exsisted or that their son/daughter was playing it. Therefore, it’s important that parents, educators and health-care providers become aware of the choking game and learn to recognize the warning signs. Because the choking game is not listed on death certificates or in any public health database, there probably have been more deaths than reported. More than 86 percent of the deaths involved males, with most fatalities occurring in the 11 to 16 age range (the age range overall was 6 to 19 years, with a median age of 13).

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www.stop-the-choking-game.com lists the following as the WARNING SIGNS:

  • Any suspicious mark on the side of the neck, sometimes hidden by a turtleneck, scarf or permanently turned-up collar.
  • Changes in personality, such as overtly aggressive or agitated.
  • Any kind of strap, rope or belt lying around near the child for no clear reason—and attempts to elude questions about such objects.
  • Headaches (sometimes excruciatingly bad ones), loss of concentration, flushed face.
  • Bloodshot eyes or any other noticeable signs of eye stress.
  • A thud in the bedroom or against a wall—meaning a fall in cases of solitary practice.
  • Any questions about the effects, sensations or dangers of strangulation.
  • So your teen says that they don’t play the Choking Game…you shouldn’t breathe a sigh of relief yet. The Choking Game goes by other names as well. Some of these names include:

    Blackout, Fainting Game, Space Monkey, Dream Game, Suffocation, Roulette, Passout, Flatliner, California High, Airplaning, Space Monkey, American Dream, Funky Chicken, Tingling, Gasp.

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    **To learn more, go to this website http://www.stop-the-choking-game.com/en/home.html. Towards the bottom of the page, you’ll see a movie. Click on the movie to view. Make sure your sound is turned on.

    ******Be aware of this deadly game********

    This is a Game Adolescents Shouldn’t Play!

    What are you thoughts? Were you aware of this game trend? Do you have a story to share? What can parents/teachers do about this? Email me your response dawn.braa@dctc.edu and put CHOKING GAME in the subject line. I will post your reply within this blog.

    Picture from tx-wichitafalls.civicplus.com, www.digitalcodesmith.com

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