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Mark Bello
Mark Bello
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Kids Are Still Dying To Play The Choking Game

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An 11-year-old South Carolina boy was found dead in his bedroom. The local coroner said the cause of death was due to accidental asphyxiation.

The “choking game” has been the cause of numerous deaths among young children and teenagers over the last several years. It also goes by different names such as “Space Cowboy,” “Cloud Nine,” “Five Minutes in Heaven,” “Good Kid’s High.” For my readers unfamiliar with the “game”, the goal is to deprive the brain of oxygen long enough to create a feeling of euphoria before passing out. Kids intentionally will either choke each other or use a noose to choke themselves to get a brief high. After a short time, they pass out.

This is no game! Three minutes without oxygen can result in a seizure, memory loss, or a concussion; after four minutes, it can cause severe brain damage or death. In 2008 the U.S. Centers for Disease Control of Disease (CDC) issued a report that found that 82 children from 6 to 19 had choked themselves to death with dog leashes, bungee cords, scarves and belts while playing the choking game from 1995 to 2007. All but a few were boys, at an average age of about 13, the CDC found. However, it is likely that the number of deaths is understated since choking game deaths often look like suicides.

The CDC also said that most adults have never heard of the “choking game.” Most grieving parents had no idea that their child was engaging in such activity. The agency encourages parents, educators and health-care providers to familiarize themselves with signs of the game.

  • Unexplained bruising or marks around the neck
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Locked or blocked bedroom or bathroom doors
  • Disorientation after spending time alone
  • Frequent complaints severe headaches
  • Changes in attitude especially if become more aggressive
  • Wear marks on furniture (from ropes, belts, etc. being attached)
  • Visits to websites mentioning the choking game

Talk to your kids. Even if they say they are unfamiliar with the game, educate them on what it is, that it is not a game, and it is proven deadly.

Mark Bello is the CEO and General Counsel of Lawsuit Financial Corporation, a pro-justice lawsuit funding company.