Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Dying to "fit in"? Deadly games kids play!

I live in a fairly small town of roughly 15,000. When I heard about this "game" young people were playing at a recent middle school birthday party, I'll admit I was shocked and dismayed.
What is this "game"? The "choking game." It has other names ("aliases" below), but the intention of this "game" is to purposely cut off the blood flow to the brain, causing the individual to lose consciousness.
Why are young people doing this? Partly because they have been duped into thinking it is a "safer" way to achieve a short lived "high" then illegal drugs. Kids in elementary and middle school in my town are now having school assemblies to educate adults and hopefully dissuade young people from "playing" this deadly game. Even if an individual does not die or have seizures the first time they try it, does not mean that they will not the next time! The "prizes" in this game are injury, brain damage, and death.

Choking Game Warning Signs

Any suspicious mark on the side of the neck, sometimes hidden by means of a turtleneck, a scarf or a permanently turned-up collar
Changes in personality, such as overly aggressive or agitated.
Any kind of strap, a rope or a belt lying about near the child without any reason – questions about such objects are often eluded.
Headaches, sometimes excruciatingly bad ones, loss of concentration, a flushed face.
Bloodshot eyes or any other noticeable signs of stress on the eyes.
A thud in the bedroom or against a wall – meaning a fall in cases of solitary practices.
Any questions about the effects, sensations or dangers of strangulation.

Choking Game aliases: Blackout, Fainting Game, Space Monkey, Dream Game, Suffocation Roulette, Pass-out Game, Flat liner, California Choke, Space Cowboy, Airplaning, Purple Dragon and many more.

There are excellent web sites that can give much more detail than I can, please check these links out! If you are an adult, please talk with your children about this. If you are a young person, please... think twice before you die trying to "fit in" or have a short lived (and life shortening) "high."
Choking Game Education: Save your child's life, be informed, be aware!
Choking Game could cost young lives.
Children Play a Dangerous Game
Connect with Kids: the choking game.
"Choking Game" A deadly trend.
Information and links to help raise awareness about the choking game.


Anonymous said...

Yeah that's creepy stuff. I know someone who said they knew someone who knew a person that died in their town from this game!


Shaping Youth said...

Unfortunately, here it is 2009 and I've just encountered this scenario yet again among Ca. middle schoolers, who evidently have now informed me (after I wrote this article for Shaping Youth) that one of their classmates even seizured 'so the whole school stopped'. egad.

I linked to your piece and appreciate your commentary. Many thanks. Here's mine with the 2008 stats & update:

Best, Amy
Founder/Exec. Dir.

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