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02-15-08, 07:49 AM #1
"choking game" killed 82 kids since 1995
At least 82 youngsters have died from the "choking game" since 1995, according to the first government count of deaths from the fad. In the game, children use dog leashes or bungee cords wrapped around their necks, or other means, to temporarily cut blood flow to their head. The goal is a dreamlike, floating-in-space feeling when blood rushes back into the brain.
Up to 20 percent of teens and preteens play the game, sometimes in groups, according to estimates based on a few local studies. But nearly all the deaths were of youngsters who played alone, according to the count compiled by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The CDC started the research after receiving a letter last year from a Washington state physician who said her 13-year-old son died from playing the game in 2005.
"At the time I had never heard of this," said Dr. Patricia Russell, of Tacoma, whose son was found hanging in his closet. She later learned he had talked to a friend about it.
"One thing that really needs to happen — and is starting to happen now — is to get more information about how common this is," she said.
The CDC counted cases from news reports and advocacy organizations from 1995 through 2007, totaling 82 deaths of children ages 6 to 19. The researchers did not include fatalities in which it was unclear if the death was from the choking game or if it was a suicide. They also excluded deaths involving autoerotic asphyxiation, which is self-strangulation during masturbation, mainly associated with teen boys or men. The study authors said 82 is probably an undercount.
The 82 deaths occurred in 31 states. Nearly 90 percent were boys, at an average age of 13, the CDC found.
Three or fewer deaths were reported from 1995 through 2004. The numbers jumped to 22 in 2005, 35 in 2006 and at least nine in 2007. It's not clear what drove the increase in recent years, investigators said.
The report is in the current issue of the CDC publication Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
"Although asphyxial games might have been played by youths for generations, the use of a ligature while playing alone appears to be a new practice that can be fatal," according to an editorial note.
The CDC urged parents to be aware of the fad and to watch for possible warning signs, such as bloodshot eyes, marks on the neck, frequent and severe headaches, disorientation after time alone, and ropes, scarves or belts tied to bedroom furniture or doorknobs.
By Mike Stobb
Material from Bloomberg News is included in this report.
02-15-08, 08:33 AM #2
What a bunch of maroonsNo one has greater love than this, to lay down ones life for ones friends - John 15:13
"The Wicked Flee When No Man Pursueth: But The Righteous Are Bold As A Lion".
We lucky few, we band of brothers. For he who today sheds his blood with me shall be my brother.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~The opinions, beliefs, and ideas expressed in this post are mine, and mine alone. They are NOT the opinions, beliefs, ideas, or policies of my Agency, Police Chief, City Council, or any member of my department.
02-17-08, 08:42 AM #3
They also play the game using marshmallows. I get a lot of those calls...
02-17-08, 05:10 PM #4
From a law enforcement standpoint, if you go to an unexplained hanging of a teenager, please keep this in mind.
I was the first officer on scene at a hanging and couldn't figure out "why" he would have done this. The investigators must have talked to his friends and figured out it was the choking game.
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