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Friday, February 25, 2011

The "Choking game", a fatal high

Original caption states: Age distribution of y...Image via Wikipedia
Nothing could have been more terrifying for parents Jill and Paul Fung of Lexington,SC than to hear the news that their 11 year old son was dead.  What makes it more disturbing is how their son Spencer Fung died. The latest rage on Youtube and elsewhere for those seeking a quick "high" drug free is called the "choking game".  His death was less than 3 months ago and his story needs to be told to the public. For more on his story see:  Parents have a warning after son dies playing the "choking game"
 



The game involves various forms of asphyxiation whereas the participant chokes themselves just short of passing out. The effect of cutting off blood flow to the brain results in a temporary "high". What is not temporary however, is when it results in death.
A disturbing fact that needs to change as there are no public health agencies tracking the number of deaths that occur from this deadly practice, although many  people are quite aware of it.
A report published from the CDC estimates that between 800 to 1,000 children between the ages of 10 to 19 die of strangulation every year. Most are recorded as suicides, however, the grim reality may be that many of these reported suicides were accidental, brought on by the practice of self asphyxiation.
For more information on this disturbing new "high", see The DB Foundation. This site also has a partial list of many of the victims that experienced a "fatal" high.

Warning signs that your child may be involved with "The Choking Game"
This is a partial list of signs as reported by the Center for Disease Control.
Parents, educators, health-care providers, or peers may observe any of the following signs that can indicate a child has been involved in the choking game:
  • Discussion of the game or its aliases
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Marks on the neck
  • Wearing high-necked shirts, even in warm weather
  • Frequent, severe headaches
  • Disorientation after spending time alone
  • Increased and uncharacteristic irritability or hostility
  • Ropes, scarves, and belts tied to bedroom furniture or doorknobs or found knotted on the floor
  • The unexplained presence of dog leashes, choke collars, bungee cords, etc.
  • Petechiae (pinpoint bleeding spots) under the skin of the face, especially the eyelids, or the conjunctiva (the lining of the eyelids and eyes)

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