"Erik Robinson was a larger than life young man who would stop at nothing to achieve his best and be the best. That was the attitude that made so many like him. In an instant that vanished. All because of a game that takes lives within a few minutes. It doesn't matter if you're a straight A student and you want to get dizzy for a minute. Because Erik had straight A's and he didn't realize the dangers of this deadly game. I wish I never had to write this, but someday this could be your friend. You don't know what you have until it's all gone....."
... written by Roman V., a close friend of Erik
"WHAT A TRUE AND HONEST FRIEND CAN TRULY MEAN TO YOU: For the 4 great years that I knew Erik he was one of the most valuable friends that I was ever lucky enough to be able to truly care about, who I still think about to this day. When I met him I was unhappy with my life in Los Angeles and I had just joined Cub Scouts. He, who was a complete stranger to me, was kind enough to invite me to his birthday party in a hockey arena. It was a memory that still makes tears come to my eyes. After that moving experience in the hockey rink we really were just about set up as very caring and close friends who shared a passion. Erik was, to say the least, a young activist about the armed forces and military stuff. Both of my parents are members of the US military so naturally he flocked to me and my family. We were also big fans of Nerf, Star Wars, and especially exercising military style together in the mornings that one of us slept over at each other's house. I remember when he and his mother came to chill with us in Pennsylvania for a few days. Erik was really at the top level of loving life and I was really down in the dumps. I had no friends except him and a few kids who went to different schools, I was a C+ student at best, and I was honestly sometimes afraid to be myself. I find it mystifying that someone who motivated me to pursue the advanced courses I'm studying right now passed away from this "game" just a few weeks later. Erik was the greatest friend and person I have ever known and probably will ever know and I will miss him for the remainder of my life. R.I.P Erik."
...Written by Stephen G., a close friend of Erik
What Kids Need to Know:
How can I say NO?
USE HUMOR—“No thanks, I need all the brain cells I’ve got”
WALK AWAY—Leave if people ask you to do it
GIVE A REASON—“No, it’s stupid and it can kill you”
STRENGTH IN NUMBERS—Hang out with kids who won’t do this
AVOID THE SITUATION—If you know kids that are doing it, don’t go with them
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TEXT FROM THE SLIDES OF "HELP STOP THE CHOKING GAME" VIDEO
What IS the choking game?
It’s using something or someone to cut off blood flow and oxygen to your brain – it is NOT a game.
Why? What happens in the brain?
The brain controls how we think, move and feel. Without enough blood and oxygen, these life giving functions shut down
What does it feel like?
The first feeling is dizziness from a lack of blood and oxygen.
The second feeling is light-headedness when the blood rushes back into the brain
So what’s the problem?
Because of lack of oxygen, you don’t even know that you may have fainted or worse …You are dying.
It’s not safe at all. It’s a chance not worth taking.
But people faint all the time? Why is it a problem?
In the choking game, the fainting is caused by deliberately cutting off the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain. Some kids survive … but too many die. And if you do survive, you may be seriously hurt. There’s a chance of fracturing your skull, bleeding in the brain, shaking uncontrollably, your heart could stop beating, you could fall down and break bones, be in a coma, or suffer permanent brain damage.
When they faint, why do they shake uncontrollably?
They shake because the brain doesn’t have enough blood and oxygen to function properly. In addition to shaking, without enough blood and oxygen, brain cells die. Since these cells don’t regenerate, this can cause brain damage or death.
Why do kids try this?
Many kids think the Choking Game is a safe alternative to drugs and alcohol. But it’s not. It’s just as harmful, and IT CAN KILL WITH NO WARNING!
Why else would kids try the choking game?
Kids are naturally curious, sometimes thrill seeking or they might just want to fit in with their peers who are doing it.
How do they die?
Since you can’t SEE the brain function, you can’t KNOW when the damage is happening.
So, it’s a GAMBLE with your life.
Exactly, gone forever in a heartbeat …
How fast can it happen?
Without blood and oxygen, within 3 minutes brain damage starts. Between 4 and 5 minutes the body begins to shut down. 10 minutes can be too late. This activity can kill you the first time you try it!
Is it safer to try it with a friend?
ABSOLUTELY NOT – IT’S NEVER SAFE! The only safe way is NOT TO PLAY!
Why are we talking about this?
Because it’s happening everywhere, including HERE, and you need to understand how DANGEROUS it is.
It only affects me, right?
Wrong – it affects many other people in your life.
Who else does it affect?
Your parents … your family … your friends… Can you imagine doing this with a friend and something goes wrong? Your friend dies. If your friend died, how would you feel?
So – who’s doing this?
Mostly boys and girls between 9 and 16 years old of all races and religions. But it can happen to any person at any age.
How can we tell? Are there warning signs?
Some warning signs are bloodshot eyes, frequent headaches, marks or bruising around the neck, or kids locking themselves in their rooms… BUT THERE CAN BE NO WARNING SIGNS AT ALL!
How can I say NO?
Like… “No thanks – I need all the brain cells I’ve got!”
Right, or …
Just Walk Away. Leave if people ask you to do it
You could also give them a reason.
“No – it’s stupid and it can kill you!”
Avoid peer pressure - there’s also strength in numbers
So, hang out with kids who won’t do this.
Just avoid the situation
If you know kids who are doing it, don’t go with them!
If you’re not sure how to say “no”, ask a grown-up!
What can kids do if they’re doing it?
If you’re doing it, stop right now! If you can’t stop on your own, ask for help!
What else can I do?
First, you Stay alive – then warn your friends – save their lives too! If you know someone who is doing it, tell them to stop. But don’t take their word for it – tell an adult about it.
But my friend will get mad …
It’s better to have your friend mad at you than have your friend die. Your friend may not understand, but this activity is a killer. Telling does not mean tattling!
Who can I tell?
Any responsible adult… Your parents, your friend’s parents, grand parent, aunt, uncle
Who can I talk to at school? Your guidance counselor, teacher, coach, principal, nurse
Even smart strong kids can make dumb choices with deadly consequences.
Some kids tried this only once or twice … they didn’t know they were gambling with death Many were gone in an instant!
If only they had known… If only any of us had known to warn them … Let’s spread the word so we can put an end to it…
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