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Children are hurt, killed playing ‘choking game’

Staff Report • Apr 20, 2012 at 9:54 AM

Kids refer to it as a game, but it’s far from an innocent game. It is a deadly diversion that is claiming the lives of young people across the nation.

It has been called the “fainting game” and “passing-out game” — but is probably best known as the “choking game.” This choking game has led to a number of accidental deaths among children and teenagers. Children who play it use bags, belts, ties or even their own bare hands to cause hypoxia, which is a shortage of oxygen.

This is a very dangerous thing to do because by reducing the blood pressure the brain basically starts an irreversible process of dying.

National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition” reported earlier this week that a recent study published in the journal Pediatrics found about 6 percent of 5,000 middle-schoolers surveyed in Portland, Ore., have tried the choking game. The study found at least 25 percent of that number have done it at least five times.

There are clues that parents can watch for in determining if their children are playing this deadly game. They include unusual marks found around the neck, ropes tied in unusual ways and bloodshot eyes. Any of these things may be reason for a parent to be concerned.

It’s also important parents teach their children that this is no game. Cutting off oxygen to the brain is never a good idea — period.

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