Tuesday, March 24, 2009

DEADLY TEEN TREND - THE "CHOKING GAME"

(This blog is written to inform parents & others of the disturbing trends of teenagers.)

The choking game is “self-strangulation or strangulation by another person with the hands or a noose to achieve a brief euphoric state caused by cerebral hypoxia (deprivation of adequate oxygen to the brain)”. After a very short time, teens pass out, which may lead to serious injury or death from hanging or strangulation.

WHO’S AT RISK:

  • Boys are much more likely to die than girls; 87% of victim’s are boys.
  • Most teens who die are 11 to 16 years of age.
  • Nearly all teens who die play the game alone

OTHER NAMES USED FOR THE "CHOKING GAME" INCLUDE:

  • The pass-out game
  • Space Monkey
  • Suffocation Roulette
  • Scarf game
  • Space Cowboy

WHY DO TEENS CHOOSE TO CHOKE?

  • A brief sense of euphoria
  • An altered state of consciousness
  • Peer pressure
  • Enhanced erotic feelings
  • Entertainment-peers lose consciousness/behave erratically
  • A ‘floaty’, ‘tingling’, ‘high’ sensation

Unlike other risk-taking activities, self-choking often occurs among well-adjusted, high-achieving teens. The most common age is 9 to 16 and predominantly male.

WARNING SIGNS THAT YOUR CHILD MAY BE PLAYING THE "CHOKING GAME":

  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Marks on the neck
  • Talking about the game
  • Wearing high-necked shirts
  • Frequent, severe headaches
  • Disorientation after spending time alone
  • Increased irritability or hostility
  • Ropes, scarves & belts tied to bedroom furniture or doorknobs or found knotted on the floor
  • The unexplained presence of dog leashes, choke collars, bungee cords, etc.
  • Petechiae (pinpoint bleeding spots) under the skin of the face & the eyelids

TEENS CAN BECOME UNCONSCIOUS IN A MATTER OF SECONDS. WITHIN 3 MINUTES OF CONTINUED STRANGULATION (i.e. hanging), BASIC FUNCTIONS, SUCH AS MEMORY, BALANCE & THE CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM START TO FAIL. DEATH OCCURS SHORTLY AFTER. (When a teen chokes alone & becomes unconscious, there is no one to release the pressure off the noose & their own body weight on the ligature usually results in death.)

OTHER LONG-TERM CONSEQUENCES
:

  • Loss of consciousness & death of brain cells due to oxygen deprivation in the brain
  • Coma
  • Seizures
  • Concussions or broken bones from falls
  • Hemorrhages of the eyes
  • Brain damage

Acording to the CDC, “the earliest choking game death was identified as occurring in 1995. Three or fewer deaths occurred annually during 1995-2004. However, 22 deaths occurred in 2005, 35 in 2006 & 9 in 2007. 71 of the 82 deaths were male, and the age range was 6-19 years, with a mean age of 13. Among the 70 deaths for which sufficient detail was reported, 39 were alone & 92.9% of the parents said they were unaware of the choking game until the death of their child.

The findings in the above report may be subject to limitations, because of miscategorized deaths. There were 5,101 teens age 6-19 years whose deaths were deemed suicide by hanging/suffocation during 1999-2005.

According to The DB Foundation, a survey was given to 500 boys and 500 girls ages 10-14 to assess their knowledge and participation of the choking game:

  • Of the boys surveyed, 53% admitted to playing.
  • Of those who had played, 86% admitted to playing 2 times a week.
  • 64% admitted to playing alone.
  • When asked where they had learned of the game and where they had played, the number one answer for both was “at school”.

If you find your child is participating in the choking game:

  • Increase supervision - be aware of your child’s activities and whereabouts.
  • Remove any paraphernalia that could be used as a ligature.
  • Alert school personnel. If one student is involved, there are probably others.
  • Alert the parents of your teen’s friends.
  • If an older teen is involved, younger children in the same family maybe at risk.

Below is a video on a teen who played the choking game & the dangers involved.






THIS IS NOT A GAME! Parents and educators should become familiar with the warning signs mentioned above.

http://www.cdc.gov/





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92 comments:

Fay said...

I've had the pleasure of reviewing "Ziggy's Blogs" and I'm pleased to inform you that your blog has been added to Blogging Women.

Thanks you for sharing your blog with me and now the many readers of our blog directory.

Keep up the great work and I'm looking forward to your future post.

Teresa jane said...

This was so disturbing. I had heard of this dangerous "game" played by teens and preteens, but that was several years ago. I did not know that the "game" had increased in popularity.

The statistics you gave are so disturbing! Thank you for sharing them. Parent's of children in those age groups need to be aware.

KC Mom said...

I actually played this "game" in middle school several times. The last time I did it, I was so frightened by what happened that I never did it again. I know for a fact that my life was spared. I can't believe I ever did that. What stupid thing to do...to risk your life for something so ridiculous.
I didn't know kids were still doing it...of course I should have know that they were.
I must talk to my girls about this.

Nanci said...

I just wanted to let you know I've given you an award. Thanks for all the great info!
http://berifields.blogspot.com/2009/03/wow-i-got-award.html

parentingBYdummies said...

I really am afraid about my little dudes becoming teenagers. I wonder if I head out now if I can find that fountain of youth thingy before noon?

Carolee said...

That is great, much needed info!

My cousin died by hanging.

After investigation, they concluded it wasn't suicide, but he was doing a form of the choking & it got out of control.

Very sad. He was the only child my Aunt had and she was devastated!

Jenny said...

Wow. This is SCARY! I can't believe the things people do to themselves!

I really like the look & content of your blog. The colors are so attractive! Great job you're doing here. Just wanted to let you know that! ;-)

Zeemaid said...

OMG too awful for words. What kids will think of doing for kicks.

tHanks for the tips. My own children are not even close to the teen years but better to be armed ahead of time than too late!

Michelle Hoad said...

We just talked with our boys about this awful game a few weeks ago. Hopefully they understood how dangerous this is.

MOMSWEB said...

I've spent quite a bit of time browsing your blog and I thank you for your informative posts. Bless you!

pothead said...

very nice & girly.i like it

confessionsofacountrygirl said...

Totally scary stuff. Not to long ago there was a news story in our area about a couple of kids who were playing this before wrestling practice and in a matter of minutes one of the kids was dead. Scary stuff!

La Belle Mere UK said...

Oh my goodness, that is scary stuff. I never heard of teens doing this as a game before!! Thanks for raising awareness of this.

Happy SITS day.

LBM xx

cat said...

Scary stuff! Happy SITS day and thanks for doing the good work.

Yaya said...

Oh gosh.

Elizabeth said...

Wow, that is positively frightening.

Christine said...

It's so sad and very true that kids are still doing this. A schoolmate of my daughter's died in 2004 from the choking game. His mom has been keeping parents aware of this activity ever since. It is a horrible thing to lose a child and that there are warning signs to watch out for is something all parents should know.

Queenie Jeannie said...

Soooo scary!!

GreedyGirl said...

Hi www.greedygirlsguide.com checking in from SITS
Wow this is even crazier. Another one i'm going to make sure he reads

Mary-Jane said...

This is quite terrifying. I actually remember this being around twenty years ago...

Joy said...

This is one of the most disturbing and scary things out there for parents. It's imperative to be as aware as possible and not be afraid to get on our kids' nerves with our nosiness, question-asking, and getting up in their business. Because we love them.

Congrats on your SITS day.

Raising Z said...

This was going on while I was in High School back in 1993! It was called the Pass Out game and I wish I had known then all that you wrote in this entry. I would have put a stop to it, a few of my "friends" did it in my parents house!

Priscilla said...

I have never, ever, ever heard of something so stupid. Nobody in high school ever mentioned something that stupid. I can't believe people would literally try to kill themselves.

Even teens know better than that. I think they should, if caught, be put in a mental institution for suicide.

Pam said...

This is so scary. I've been aware of this "game" for a while, but it's always nice to have a reminder to continue talking to our kids about this. I'll be doing that very thing today.Thanks for this.

Lebanon GOTR said...

This was going on when I was in high school (late 80's/early 90's). My bus driver's son died while playing it. He was her only child, fifteen years old.

Tragic.

As parents, we need to keep as close of an eye on our teens as we do on our toddlers.

A Fist Full of Dandelions said...

I didn't even know this existed. Teens today are so self-destructive.

mommytoalot said...

As a mom of two teens, I also read about this and asked my boys about it. It's so scary that teens get into such dangereous things.

roadrunner201 said...

Thank you for bringing light to this issue. All people who have interaction with teenagers needs to know this stuff. You fully deserve to be the SITS FB today.

Janna Bee said...

This is actually something that I did in Middle school. I always thought it was a bad idea, but we would do it at slumber parties and it would make me so nervous! Thanks for the information.

Jane In The Jungle said...

I have 3 boys so this is relevent for me. I have been aware of this.
Over for your SITS day. Greatinfo for all parents on your blog, good job!

glenna said...

WoW, I didn't know it was the common.

Le Gourou said...

Hi, when I was a young teen, someone very close to me used to do this to themselves. And I'm OLD! I used to watch with fascination as she wrapped a bath towel around her throat and pant until dizzy (I guess), then squeeze the towel and drop! Harem Scarem!!!! Thanks for talking about it. Keri

tara said...

i'm officially afraid of my 4 month old becoming a teenager. i'm here from SITS and really, this is good info.

Chaotic Kristy said...

I love how you have a youtube video with the title good kids high because I considered myself a "good kid" and I did this in high school. Luckily only once and from my experience my friends stopped. We did it in the ladies room or in our own rooms. I decided to try it and when I passed out they let me go I hit my head on the toilet and my body started shaking really bad and they all got scared. When I woke up I had no idea what happened and my tooth was chipped. I was so lucky nothing else happened to me. Thank for sharing this great post. Parents should be aware.

Kara @ His, Hers and Ours said...

I had no idea the effects of this game when it was played when I was in school and I remember doing it once or twice. So very scary that it still continues, and that children are losing their lives over it.

Thank you for the raise in awareness, and Happy SITS day!

Kerri said...

I was a "good" kid in the early to mid 80's when I got in with a not-so-good crowd of boys. I wanted them to like me, so I helped them play the pass-out game. I would never be the one passing out; I was to afraid. I think that's why most of the victims are boys; they are more daring.

Basically, one of the guys would hunch down against a wall, hyperventilate, then stand up against the wall, and I would push against the center of their chest until they passed out. They all thought it was awesome, I was terrified. One boy went down and kind of jerked sideways and hit his head really hard on the door jam. That was close enough fo me. No more.

I was shocked to see this "choking game" on the news a few years ago. It's amazing how things keep going, no matter what they're called.

Very informative blog! Happy SITS day.
Kerri
www.sickofmg.blogspot.com
Blogging for Invisible Illness Awarenss Week Spet 14-20

Kimmy C said...

Wow... I have never heard about this. THanks for bringing it to light.

Tater Tot Mom said...

I too did something like this in middle school that involved pushing on the chest. I only did it a couple of times and was always scared out of my mind but at that age, you almost do anything to fit in. That's what's so scary about it.

I recently saw an episode of Dr. G. Medical Examiner where a child was playing the game on his own in his room with a belt. Dr. G. said he died in a matter of seconds not minutes because he had compressed both carotid arteries. Only seconds! This is crazy stuff and again a great service you are doing getting the news out there!

Happy SITS day!

The818 said...

My baby isn't born yet, and I'm already thinking about how I can make sure she never does this!!!

Heather of the EO said...

This just makes me so sad.

Thank you for educating people, it's so important!

(stopped by from SITS)

Robbie S. Redmon, LPC said...

Thanks for the info. Happy SITS Day!

Lacie @ Creative Attempts said...

i too hate to admit that i did this and it was actually clear back in middle school it scares me to think what my son will do...

tickledpinktwice said...

WOW. Great info though I think I'm even more nervous for my little ones to grow up. You see more and more of these types of stories on the news though I wonder how many are not being told.
PS...is it great to be "Queen" for the day on SITS?

missy said...

UGH......how scary is that!!!!!!
happy SITS day!!!!!

aforestfrolic said...

Thanks for all of this info. I have three young girls and this scares me. But I am glad I am informed now, thank you. What a great blog!

Jamie :)

Kris said...

I guess some people will do anything to get a high won't they? Thanks for all the info! Happy SITS day!

Chandice said...

Crazy what kids will do!

The Mom @ Babes in Hairland said...

Wow - That is so awful. My girls aren't teens yet, but I appreciate the awareness this offers. Happy SITS day to you.

y u l z said...

Good Information. This is the first time I heard about this kind of game

Lynn said...

This is too sad. All we can do as parents is teach them these things and just pray that when the moment comes to whether or not they listen to us - they do. Thank you so much for this information.

My best, Lynn

Robin said...

Great post....very disturbing....

Rbarakat said...

Pretty sick. Everytime you think you have it figured out they come up with something else.

Katie said...

Wow that is so scary, I had no idea teens are doing this. Thanks for the information.

Lamonica Epps said...

It's sad that things like this become so popular among teenagers. Hopefully, through your blog people will become more informed and aware of these dangerous trends.

http://fabulousgccandles.blogspot.com/

Stopping by from SITS

Mel said...

It's so scary raising kids nowadays. We just have to continually pray and hope that they grasp onto something they've been taught....keep them in God's hands....

SPEAKING FROM THE CRIB said...

visiting from SITS - wow after this post i am now even more frightened to have my little ones be teenagers!

I'm Anitra! said...

Visiting from SITS. Very thought-provoking. Thanks for your commitment to exposing these dangers.

Meg said...

I remember hearing about the pass-out game for the first time four or five years ago. It's really terrifying. I almost couldn't watch the whole video.

Helene said...

Wow, this is seriously disturbing! I'm dreading when my kids become teenagers....I've been told that the toddler/preschool years have NOTHING on the teenage years. Thank you for sharing this important info.

Holly Noelle @ Domestic Dork said...

I never heard of any of my peers doing this when I was in HS and it wasn't that long ago. This is crazy. I'd have never wanted to play a "game" like that.

Christina said...

It never ceases to amaze me the crazy things that kids come up with! I mean really, choking?!?! What goof ball thought that was a trend worth starting? It also saddens me to know that this will claim many lives before people realize how dangerous it is.

Open and honest communication with our kids is the only cure for things like this!

shortmama said...

A few kids did this at our middle school and I just couldnt even begin to understand it! Luckily no one was hurt

Over Thirty Mommy said...

I never played this game when growing up but it scares me that one day my daughter might be introduced to things like this.

Mighty M said...

I can remember as a kid, we'd try to hold our breath so we could pass out. We never succeeded thankfully. So scary that they do these things.

Amber@alittlemorecrazythancool said...

As a youth pastor's wife, thank you for sharing these important issues with the masses!

Hoity Toity Baby said...

I couldn't even watch the video.

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

So scary...I couldn't even watch the video!!!

Ali said...

As someone who suffers from anxiety, I'm finding it really hard to make it through these posts. This is too much for me in one day! Scary!

Krissy @ B.Inspired, Mama! said...

Thanks again for the thorough information! I really wish this weren't called a "game." I know that's what kids call it, but it seems like we are sending the wrong message validating that by calling it, too. So heartbreaking!

The Dapper Darling said...

OMG..this is what I just commented about on the other post in reference to huffing. I used to do this as a child until my friend had seizures. STUPID! But then we just thought it was fun to do

Marketing Mama said...

I used to do this as a kid and had no idea how dangerous it was at the time - although we weren't choking each other, we were holding our breaths and pushing on the chest until the person passed out. WHAT THE HELL WERE WE THINKING?

Thanks for writing such informative info.

The girl with the flour in her hair said...

Nine years old? This is terrifying.

Millennium Housewife said...

Thankyou so much for that, a well written post about an alarming 'game', over from SITS x

Rachel said...

I've heard about this. Thanks for sharing about the issue and the dangers.

samsstuff said...

So scary! I remember many stories about this a few years ago & then nothing at all. Thanks for reminding us that this still goes on!

Congratulations on your SITS feature!

African American Mom said...

News to me.....wow.

Adrian's Crazy Life said...

That is just terrifying. I would think this would be so rare because it's so obviously dangerous, but it kind of alarmed me to see how many commenters had tried this when they were kids. I guess it must be more widespread than I had thought.

Gosh, there are so many things to worry about in the schools, I wish I could home school, but I think I would suck at it.

Tranquility said...

My high school age cousin told me about this, but it is still hard to believe how far kids will go for entertainment or a thrill - or popularity (or lack thereof).

Very scary!

SimplyValorie said...

Wow. I saw a CSI episode where this happened, but I didn't realize it was becoming a trend -- scary!

Michelle (hometc) said...

This stupid game has been around for a long time. I actually tried this after a friend told me about it in Jr. High. Back then there was no info like this about it and I certainly didn't think it could kill me when I tried it. I'll be warning my daughter about it tonight.

Mama Mair said...

We used to play this game in the school yard - but never alone or at home. Very scary.
Thank you for sharing.
Enjoy your day at SITS!

Single Mama NYC said...

My baby is only 2 years old - this stuff makes me terrified of what lies ahead of us as gets older. Thank you so much for putting this information out there!

Missy said...

6 yrs old?!? My boy is almost that old. I cannot even fathom that someone that age would be participating in something like this. I haven't even heard of this one before.

Thank you for making me aware.

Happy SITS day!

Sheryl said...

Thank you so much for bringing this to our attention. I had not heard of it. How sad....

On a happier note - Congrats on your SITS day.

Days of Whine & Noses said...

I remember seeing that story on the news when it happened.

Stopping by from SITS

Little Miss Baker said...

wow scary stuff! I missed your SITS Day so I am back to leave some comment love :) Hope it was fab!! xo

Michelle said...

Wow! That video is crazy. When I was a teen people did stuff like this but I don't think to that extreme.

You just really don't know what your kids can get into!

Karen & Gerard Zemek said...

I heard about this one. It's hard for me to understand why some teens are so stupid.
Happy SITS day!

Kristen said...

I didn't know it was the thing to do. I do remember doing this in 6th grade to make ourselves faint. Gosh we were stupid.

Thank you so much for keeping us all informed.

Viagra Online Without Prescription said...

This game is getting very popular among the teenagers, but the problem is that many young kids have already died practicing. So, parents, if you have any doubt, try to communicate with your kids.

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Ang said...

There is so much pertinent and important information on your blog regarding teenagers these days! Every parent of a young person should read your blog! Following you now!

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