Warning Signs your Teen may be Playing the Choking Game

The writer first heard about the teenage “choking” epidemic, from a similarly titled book called “Choke.” By Diana Lopez. The author of this article has been home schooled her entire life and had never heard about this problem developing among Junior and Senior high schools. Nor has she tried it.  But it is exactly that, a problem. A dangerous one.  The game is simple, wrap a scarf around your neck and see how long you can go with it around your neck cutting off your air ways. The intention to impress peers.  Other intentions of the phenomenon is to experience that brief moment of euphoria, much like its deadly cousin, cutting. Its addictive and often times deadly. Death isn’t intentional, but it is possible and is happening often. Teenagers often hang themselves without the intention of suicide, but to get that momentary high. But they end up passing out, not being able to untie the choke. 82 media reports have been found of choking deaths from 1995 to 2007. The kids who died were 13 years old on average and 87% were boys. Most of their parents being completely unaware of what was going on in their teens lives.

According to a survey lead by CDC, 30% of teens claimed to have heard of the game. And at least half of them admitted to trying it at least once. It’s alarming how much ground this deadly trend is gaining. And how many lives it is taking.

But even doctors aren’t able to tell the warning signs, new research shows they aren’t educated about it. It isn’t common knowledge, so parents and doctors don’t know to look for the signs. So even with the strange symptoms choking brings, they don’t know what causes it. Choking is gaining popularity among teenagers, and adults are not aware of it. But what exactly are the signs?

– Discussion about the games, with nicknames such as “Pass-out game” or “space monkey”

– Bloodshot eyes

– Marks on neck

– Severe headaches

– Disorientation after time alone

– Ropes, scarves, belts and anything of the like tied to furniture and doorknobs, or lying knotted on the floor.

– Unexplained possession of dog leashes, choke collars, and bungee chords.

Also symptoms of depression and drug use seem to go hand in hand with choking. If you suspect your child or friend is playing the “Pass-out game” talk to them about it and seek additional help if needed, it is dangerous and may cause them their life.