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One more thing to worry about: The Choking Game

As if parents don't have enough to worry about. This may be nothing new, but what is new is the glorification of The Choking Game including instructional videos online. The number of children who are cutting off oxygen to their brains in order to get high is seemingly growing, but the numbers are hard to track. Many of the cases are tagged as suicide attempts, even though there may be no evidence to support the claim.

A colleague found this article in The Daytona Beach News Journal which quotes Kate Leonardi, founder of the Dangerous Behaviors Foundation. "The game goes by several different names -- pass out, flatliner, hangman and black hole among them -- and is sometimes referred to as 'the good kids' high' because self-choking often occurs among well-adjusted, high-achieving students", Leonardi said. The CDC reported in January that about one in 17 eighth-graders in Oregon who participated in its study admitted to participating in the choking game.

The problem has become so prolific that there are complete websites devoted to it. There is a Wikipedia page about the Fainting Game, a Facebook awareness page, and there is a very informative video that every parent should play for their kids on the G.A.S.P. - Games adolescents shouldn't play web site. The video starts with a bone-chilling 911 call from a 13-year-old who found the body of his twin brother. G.A.S.P. estimates that as many as 1,000 kids die each year in the U.S. from some variation of the game.

Like me, many parents are apparently in the dark about this. An article in Time Magazine states that the medical journal Pediatrics reported that one-third of American doctors had never heard of the choking game and only 2% had ever discussed it with teenage patients or their parents. The New York Times makes this point more personal with this story of a transplant surgeon who first heard of the game when a victim was on his table. Let's make sure as many parents as possible hear about this. Please share these articles with every parent you know, and hope we can make a difference.

Categories: Chris Tiedje (51), Safety (59)


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About the authors
Gretchen Day-Bryant has a son in high school and a daughter in middle school. She’s lived to tell about the struggles of juggling little kids and work.
Joy Oglesby has a preschooler...
Cindy Kent Fort Lauderdale mother of three. Her kids span in ages from teenager to 20s.
Rafael Olmeda and his wife welcomed their first son in Feb. 2009, and he's helping raise two teenage stepdaughters.
Lois Solomonlives with her husband and three daughters.
Georgia East is the parent of a five-year-old girl, who came into the world weighing 1 pound, 13 ounces.
Brittany Wallman is the mother of Creed, 15, and Lily, 7, and is married to a journalist, Bob Norman. She covers Broward County government, which is filled with almost as much drama as the Norman household. Almost.
Chris Tiedje is the Social Media Coordinator and the father of a 7-year-old girl, and two boys ages 4 and 3.
Kyara Lomer Camarena has a 2-year-old son, Copelan, and a brand new baby.

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