Concern about a potentially dangerous "choking game" among teens has surfaced once again. Sometimes kids hold their breath; sometimes they wrap a towel around their necks or hyperventilate; other times they volunteer to be choked until they black out. However it's done, it's scaring parents.
A recent ABC News story reported, "The choking game has been around for decades, billed as a ‘safe' way to get a rush or a high from passing out. According to a new study, about 6 percent of adolescents have played it at least once. But doctors believe kids who play it may have little idea how deadly it is ... the choking game can lead to brain damage, seizures and head trauma. And for some, the game is fatal. ... The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention counted 82 deaths between 1995 and 2007 likely related to the choking game."
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The study, published in the journal Pediatrics, surveyed nearly 5,400 eighth-graders and found that 6.1 percent reported playing the choking game at least once. Another way to look at the statistic would be to note that almost all the kids in this sample (94 percent) did not play the choking game, and of those who did, only about one-quarter did it more than five times in their lives.