The Dangerous Choking Game
The choking game is not new at all. I know about the choking game because I played it with my girlfriends as a kid too. I hadn't thought about it for decades and we had no clue that it was dangerous and just thought we were having fun. At a slumber party (now called a "sleep-over") one girl would hyperventilate for a few minutes and then hold her breath while another squeezed her from behind across her chest in a tight bear hug. Within a few seconds she would black out completely and fall to the floor.
I can't tell you now why we liked playing this game or what the motivation was. I remember the sensation of waking up from a "faint" was unique and weird and maybe it was our safe way to get "high"...long before alcohol came on the scene. Of course now as an adult, and with knowledge of physiology, it is obvious that this game is dangerous and deadly.
The choking game deprives the brain of oxygen and a person becomes unconscious within a few seconds. As the body slides to the floor and becomes flat, breathing resumes and the person starts to wake up. The deaths in the choking game occurred when kids used ropes or ties to choke themselves, thinking they would wake up. I shudder to think of how many parents might believe their child committed suicide, when they might have just been normal kids playing a deadly game.
Parents need to be aware that this is happening and know that it could be your child too. One study published in Pediatrics reported over 6% of middle-school kids in Portland, Oregon have tried the choking game. This occurs at ages between 9-15.
We cannot expect our children to know what they don't know. Every pre-teen should be told about the dangers of breath holding and how it is really just starving brain cells of oxygen. If you have a pre-teen or know someone who does, please send them a link to EverythingHealth or tell them about this crazy and dangerous game that should never be played. It can be called the choking game, pass-out, black-out or fainting game. This should be a wake-up call for parents and kids.