Communities throughout the U.S. and Europe are enduring the tragic deaths of children as the accidental result of an increasingly pervasive activity commonly known as the “Choking Game”. This is not a “game” – it can cause brain damage or death, with or without warning signs.
What is it?
It Is Not A Game! The choking "game" is an activity in which children suffocate each other by various methods, including: Strangling themselves or others with belts, ropes, their bare hands, or placing great pressure on their chest in an effort to induce hyperventilation. What they do not know is that maintaining a strangulation technique too long may accidently cause death or injury. Many kids also try this “game” alone by using a rope or belt (causing the majority of deaths). Since they don’t know when they’re actually going to faint – they black out and accidentally choke to death. It kills faster than drugs! It is never safe!
Kids can become addicted to the choking game because of the euphoria they experience – not realizing that their brain is slowly dying. The euphoria occurs in two steps (i) when pressure is applied (as blood carrying oxygen decreases) causing a lightheaded dizzy sensation; and then (ii) when pressure is released (as blood carrying oxygen floods the brain) causing a “rush” sensation. The rush only lasts momentarily so kids continue to do it – they don’t realize the potential for brain damage, injury and death.
This activity has no sexual component and should not be confused with autoerotic asphyxia (AEA) which may be practiced by older adolescents and adults.
Why is it popular?
The tween/teen years are a time of curiosity and exploration. Some kids have said that this "game" gives them a feeling of invincibility. While most students are taught the risks of drugs and alcohol, the dangers of the choking game go largely unaddressed. The popularity of the choking game may boil down to one simple fact: Children and adolescents believe it is safe because they are unaware of its dangers.
What Can You Do?
- Learn about it
- Talk with your kids
- Share this with all your friends
- Urge your school to incorporate our training into their risk prevention curriculum
Choking game fatalities appear to be on the rise. Conservative statistics indicate that approximately one child per week in the U.S. and Europe dies from this activity, though the number may well be higher as many choking game deaths are misclassified as suicides. (Estimates including misclassifications range between 250-1,000 children annually.). Injuries from the choking game often go unreported. Statistics also indicate that approximately 75% of all kids have either heard of or engaged in this activity while only 25% of adults are aware it exists.
SAVE LIVES - SPREAD THE WORD!