FORT LAUDERALE (CBS4) – A South Florida principal is launching a new effort to stop a disturbing and dangerous game. Videos on line show what is called the choking game and losing can be deadly.
In the choking game, children literally choke each other until they pass out. The goal is to get a high right before they lose consciousness.
Video after video shows kids depriving each other’s brain of oxygen, and as a result, they slow down their heart rates enough for them to pass out, sometimes, for several seconds.
Principal Krista Herrera’s students told her about the game’s popularity which has lead to videos like these on line which we have chosen to blur.
“Children will talk to you when you develop a good relationship with children and we have that,” said Krista Herrera, Principal at Glades Middle School who was shocked to learn that some of her students have tried it.
“Children freely admitted that they had participated and they had done it once, twice, three times, and four times,” said Herrera.
“One child will choke another child, closing off the arteries until they pass out,” said Dr. Micheyle Goldman Director of Pediatric Medicine at Memorial West.
Doctors warn the choking shuts off the blood and oxygen supply to brain.
“It also sends a signal to the heart to slow down your heart rate. Those two things could end in death sudden death,” said Dr. Goldman.
The kids continue the practice because the choking supposedly creates euphoria or a high right before they pass out.
Some kids who play the choking game end up dead. Since 1985, the CDC reports a hundred kids have died.
“I have seen a case once early in my training, where the child was found dead at home, “ said Dr. Goldman.
So with a mass alert which Herrera sent to parents, she hopes to warn everyone of the dangers to our children.
“It frightens me. It frightens me,” said Herrera.
A website for a nonprofit group called G.A.S.P. estimated as many as 1,000 young people die in the United States and Canada every year because of the game, but many are reported as suicide.