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CDC Warns on “Choking Game”

death by choking game vs suicide

Yesterday the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued a press release warning about deaths due to the "choking game" in which people, primarily boys between the ages of 11 and 16, intentionally strangle themselves in an effort to obtain a brief euphoric state. (That means getting high.)

Signs that a child may be engaging in the choking game include

  • discussion of the game ––including other terms used for it, such as "pass–out game" or "space monkey"
  • bloodshot eyes
  • marks on the neck
  • severe headaches
  • disorientation after spending time alone
  • ropes, scarves, and belts tied to bedroom furniture or doorknobs or found knotted on the floor
  • unexplained presence of things like dog leashes, choke collars and bungee cords

If parents believe their child is playing the choking game, they should speak to them about the life–threatening dangers associated with the game and seek additional help if necessary.

[Source, CDC]

Today the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report provided two case studies, additional information, and a graph comparing choking game deaths to suicide hangings.

The CDC provides excellent injury prevention information.

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