The deadly “choking game” made the news back in 2010, but has resurfaced as a teen social media craze once again.
As they did four years ago, teens are posting videos of their friends choking themselves until they pass out (or worse) on Facebook and Twitter.
The “choking game” gives teens a momentary high during the act of strangulation because of the lack of oxygen reaching the brain.
The lack of oxygen also creates a feeling of a near-death experience, possible memory loss, brain damage and death.
In this perfect storm of ignorance and vanity, teens post their experiences online with the hashtags #thechokinggame and #passoutchallenge.
“Basically what they’re accomplishing is they’re starving their brain for oxygen. In the scenario with the video, the children will hyperventilate which will decrease the CO2 in the blood and the CO2 is the gas that causes the brain to breathe,” Dr. Matt Bruckel told KTVI.
“And when you drop it down so low, the oxygen in the blood will drop down faster than the CO2 will rise so they’ll develop cerebral hypoxia, which is a condition in which the brain doesn’t have enough oxygen because the triggers for breathing and ventilation are gone,” added Dr. Bruckel.
Colorado Springs, Colo., mom Petra Verhoeven-Jordan has been trying to educate people about the choking game ever since her 12-year-old son Gian-Luc Jordan died on Aug. 13, 2013.
“He played the choking game. I don’t even like to say that because it’s not playing and it’s not a game,” Petra told KRDO earlier this year. “A lot of time it starts out with one kid showing another. When they play by themselves it can be anything from a shoe string to a belt, a dog leash… anything they can tie.”
Petra created a website and offers free seminars about preventing the choking game at schools, which usually turn her down.
“I have tried pretty much every school district in town and I have been turned down," stated Petra. "Even if the parents don’t want the children exposed to these presentations, they can get the information themselves and then they can decide how and if they want to tell their children."