Erik’ Cause is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization
dedicated to spreading awareness about the dangers of
pass-out activities commonly known as "The Choking Game"
Our purpose is to save kids’ lives and keep families from having to endure the devastation of losing a child to these preventable "pass-out" activities. We do this by promoting skills-based education that teaches kids and families the dangers of pass-out activities. We also reinforce skills for kids on how to resist peer pressure as well as provide parents ways to talk with their children about these topics that are frequently challenging to approach.
Studies show that 75% of kids surveyed have heard of some of some form of pass-out games (commonly known as The Choking Game) and that 20-32% of kids admit to having participated in these activities. However, 82% of those who have participated report they were unaware of any dangers associated with these activities. Documented incidences of choking game incidents, injuries and deaths are on the rise.
We offer a non-graphic, skills-based educational curriculum to teach students and parents about the potential for injury and death from these seemingly innocent activities along with ways to reinforce vital skills that kids need to stand up to peer pressure. We also provide parents with ways to broach discussion with their children about these topics. Our educational program is standardized so that it can be easily replicated by different presenters, thus providing schools and communities with a simple-to-use tool that can be easily replicated from class-to-class or assembly-to assembly.
A multitude of diverse professionals as well as parents and kids provided valuable input as we created our training program. Piloted in Santa Monica, CA, is was successfully used with a Los Angeles Unified School District middle school and is also being well-received in other parts of the country. While our program is geared for children ages 9-16, it can be tailored for high school students as well as elementary school children. We provide support and training to communities to help get the program started and are also happy to come and present the trainings as well.
Demonstrated Success: Since 2014 our training program has been successfully implemented in the 5th, 7th, and 10th grade Health curriculum in Iron County School District, Utah. Teachers say they find it user friendly, survey data demonstrates that kids are learning important new skills, and parents have shared that their kids are starting conversations with them as a direct result of our training.
Our Ultimate Goal is for this issue to have the national exposure and dialogue it deserves - the way bullying has come to light. Meanwhile, kids are still dying - approximately one child every week across the US and Europe (by very conservative estimates). Even more are injured. Unfortunately, accurate statistics are limited because many choking game deaths are mislabeled as suicide and many injuries go unreported altogether.
Erik was a normal, active, bright and curious 6th grader - an "A" student, boy scout and athlete who had focused plans and dreams for his future. He learned about this from a schoolmate the day before he tried it at home and died. There were no warning signs because he had only just learned of it. Had we known about it's dangers, we would have discussed it and I am confident that he never would have attempted to "play" it ... he would be alive today.
Erik's dream was to be a soldier - he wanted to save lives. Our mission is to honor his legacy by saving the lives of other kids and to keep families from experiencing this type of devastating loss.
Please explore our website, read our material, share your story with us, tell a friend, share with others, join our cause and save kids' lives!