Also known as “knock out,” “space monkey,” or the “pass out game,” the choking game involves a person cutting off oxygen or blood flow to the brain until they pass out. When the blood and oxygen rush back to the brain, the individual experiences a euphoric high, leading many teenagers to turn to the activity for a free high. However, those who participate risk brain damage, seizures, and head trauma.
A new study published in the journal Pediatrics surveyed nearly 5,400 Oregon eighth graders, and 6.1 percent reported playing the choking game at least once in their lives. Researchers found that kids who participated in the game were more likely to engage in other risky health behaviors, like drinking, tobacco use or sex.
Experts suspect that the numbers of children who die or suffer injury are probably underreported.
Parents should talk to their kids to explain the health risks and dangers of this activity. Kids should know that this game can kill you the first time you do it.