Posted by on Mar 21, 2012 in Articles, Blog | 1 comment

The “Choking Game” has NOT gone away!

I’m just reading an article about an old topic we’ve covered a couple of times here at and on our radio show nationwide.  Several years ago I was made aware of a sick game then middle school kids were playing called “The Choking Game” or “Pass Out” or “Space Monkey”, whatever you call it…it’s deadly!  The “Choking Game” is played individually or in groups and consists of cutting off the intake of air and/or blood flow to the brain for just enough time to create a lightheaded feeling!  THIS CRAP REALLY HAPPENS!!!! …and kids are dying!   The air is “choked” off by sticking a plastic bag over the head or purposefully hyperventilating or to cut off blood and air, even tying a string or belt around the neck!

There are new statistics that show even college aged students are now doing this STUPID “game”.  Perhaps all those middle school kids got older and are still playing with this.  Researchers at the Crime Victim’s Institute say that 16% of the college students surveyed have played the game…75% of those, more than once!  On average, students first played when they were 14.  Boys are statistically more risk takers so it comes as no surprise that more males report playing the game than girls.  90% said they first heard about it from friends and most of them first played it in a group…PEER PRESSURE!!!

Of course, this is something both Mom AND Dad need to address.  Dads might make more headway with their sons by talking about how he knows what it’s like to be a young man and want to live a little dangerously, but there IS a line you have to draw and that loosing his son wither to death or brain death or just the loss of any mental faculties, would be devastating to the entire family.  Dad might approach his daughter by telling her how beautiful she is and that she is “the apple of his eye” and to see ANY harm come to her would …again devastate his world and that of their whole family.  Above all make sure to get the point across that death is forever and once the line is crossed with this game (and you NEVER know when that might be) there is NO going back.  Dad, it’s often tempting to just look at your kids and think and say “What is wrong with you…are you THAT stupid?”  but, you can’t go there.  The walls will come up immediately and then you’re not getting through.

The Dangerous Behaviors Foundation There is actually an entire website devoted to educating parents and kids and stopping this “game”.  It’s put out by a group called the Dangerous Behaviors Foundation.  It was started by kate Leonardi who’s 11 year old son, Dylan, died from playing this “game”.  Here are some of the warning signs to look for in and around your children that help determine if they are playing “The Choking Game”:

Prevention within your own family begins with an honest discussion about the consequences of participating in The Choking Game.
Our presentation surveys show 75% of Middle School aged children already know about it – you are not telling them something they have not already been exposed to by their peers. The problem lies in what their peers have failed to mention- the dangers. Please also be aware that children as young as Kindergarten have been reportedly ‘choked out’ by their peers emulating an episode or conversation displayed by an older sibling or neighbor.Texting:  Be on alert for these text symbols    ;)/// ;;})))

Computer / Cell Phone: Check your child’s computer/cell phone for websites containing Pass Out or Choking Game. Also look for videos created, viewed or uploaded by your child from video sharing sites like MySpace, Facebook or YouTube. Popular tags are Fainting Game, Passing Out.

We can’t always stop our kids from doing dangerous and stupid things, especially if we dads still do them!  It’s up to us first to set the example of good behavior and keep the lines of communication open and WATCH THEM LIKE A HAWK!!!!!  In cases like tis, there IS no privacy for them.  Be proactive and invasive!

One Response to “The “Choking Game” has NOT gone away!”

  1. Erin says:

    Fabulous! One more thing to keep us on our toes. Well thanks Mike, I’ve never heard of this before but I’m glad I did now.

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