The Social Diary ~
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Choking Game - It's Not a 'Game,' It's A Matter of Life, Death,
and Brain Cells
the Social Diary Safety Educator Columnist Monica Zech
Column #8, March 8th, 2006
Parent: The Deadly
Game of "Choking"
Attention Parents and Kids, Adults
- As the City's Safety Educator I've become aware of
yet another growing trend among youth that has resulted in deadly
consequences. It's often called "The Choking Game",
although according to a web site dedicated to stopping this so-called
"game" http://www.stop-the-choking-game.com/ it's also
known as Space Monkey, Fainting, Pass Out Game, Black Out Game,
American Dream, Flatliner, Space Cowboy, Knock Out, Gasp, Rising
Sun, Airplaning, Hawaiian High, Fainting Game. And there may be
other names as well. But, no matter what it's called "it's
not a game" and it's killing our children! Please take a
moment to read the following information so your aware before
it's too late.
First "what is the Choking
The Choking Game achieves a brief high or euphoric state by stopping
the flow of oxygen containing blood to the brain. Sometimes children
choke each other until the person being choked passes out. The
pressure on the arteries is then released and blood flow to the
brain resumes causing a "rush" as consciousness returns.
Playing this game in any form causes the permanent and cumulative
death of large numbers of brain cells. The variation in blood
pressure may also cause strokes, seizures, and retinal damage..
The danger becomes even greater when a
ligature is used and the activity is performed by a lone child.
If the child loses consciousness and there is no one there to
IMMEDIATELY release the pressure, he is unable to help himself.
The child will suffer brain damage and death certainly
after three minutes.
What are the Symptoms of this Activity?
There is of course no "test"
for this. It is chemically undetectable, however, there are some
signs, which raise "red flags":
1. Inexplicable marks or bruises on the throat
2. Frequent severe headaches
3. Redness of the eyes
4. Belts, leashes, ropes, shoelaces tied in strange knots or
found in unusual locations.
5. Unexplained cuts or bruises from falling
6. Disorientation after spending time alone
7. Locked bedroom doors
Note: Not all of these signs may be present.
If I think my child may be doing this,
what can I Do?
Supervise the child very closely.
Dispose of items that could be employed for this purpose.
Warn your child about this activity. They often don't know that
this activity can kill them or leave them brain damaged.
Alert school officials so that they can monitor your child. Often
other students may also be participating.
Consider professional counseling and support for your child and
Check that siblings are not involved in this activity.
Consider alerting your child's friend's parents.
How widespread is this activity?
Deaths have occurred from this activity nationwide, and in other
countries around the world. There are links to articles from some
these countries on the Links Page of www.stop-the-chokin-game.com
There are, no doubt, more and the list of dead children seems
What Can I Do to Help Stop This?
Talk to the children in your life, parents and everyone you know
works with children. Make sure they understand why it is so dangerous
to participate in this activity. I have a hard time calling this
But that's what the kids call it.
(Note): Even if they survive,
people who participate, are killing brain cells each
time they do this. The damage done is permanent and cumulative.
a child choking another child who is injured or dies, may be indicted
prosecuted for his part in the death or injury.
Insist that the school districts in your area provide education
activity as a part of the risky behavior curriculum (drugs and
etc.). Doing so insures that all children are warned of the dangers
activity. This education should start as early as elementary school
children seem to pass this activity to younger ones. Information
For more safety information please visit
our web site at El
Monica Zech is the Public Information
Officer and Safety Educator for the City of El Cajon and for El
Cajon Police and Fire Departments. For safety tips please
visit El Cajon
Fire.com In community work, Zech is the President
on the board for the Trauma Research Education Foundation-TREF
and a board member with Communities Against Substance Abuse-CASA.
In March, Monica received the County's 2005 Individual Health
Champion Award for her safety lectures in the community and throughout
and visit Zech's
Web Site ,or Monica
Zech at (619) 441-1737.
to New this Week.......Monica
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