Why Teens Play the Choking Game

by Parent Juice - Date: 2008-10-22 - Word Count: 498 Share This!

The Choking Game also know as the Fainting Game, Space Monkey, Airplaning, Funky Chicken and a number of other names, is not a new game for kids. It is "played" by having either another person choke you around the neck or squeeze your midsection until you pass out or by doing it yourself with the aid of a belt, rope, necklace chain or scarf. This isn't a new game, it's been around for decades, but seems to be something that is mostly exclusive to teens.

Why would anyone do such a thing? Well, teens do it for a variety of reasons. Some are introduced to it in group situations and feel like they have to do it. Peer pressure plain and simple. Many teens learn the game at sleepovers, at scout, band, or sports camps, or from visiting relatives or siblings. Others do it because it looks cool, their friends did it or because they were curious. Some kids do it to momentarily escape their lives. They may even do it in the bathroom at school.

What do they get out of it? Here are some quotes from teens who've played the game. "I found myself jumping up and down against a wall waving my hands around and acting very silly. . . . .I thought it was the coolest thing. Another teen reports learning about the game when she was ten years old and a friend taught her how at a sleepover. "The tingling and blacking out was an addicted feeling." Then next day she played the game and fell off the bed face first breaking a tooth in half when she struck the floor. An 8th grader says it was "like taking a vacation and coming back all relaxed in just a few seconds." These children all stopped playing the game either because they saw someone who had difficulty coming too and got scared or because they were injured themselves.

Playing the game gives a teen a quick, free, high that can't be tested for. Many of them don't realize how dangerous it is. For them it's just a funny game. While they are blacked out they may twitch, sleepwalk, bounce into walls, or fall among other things. There are numerous videos on YouTube of kids playing the game. It's a horrifying sight for any parent.

What you'll need to look for is marks on their neck, they may also have bloodshot eyes and frequent headaches. It can cause permanent neurological damage. The CDC attributed 82 deaths to the since 1995 but there is no way to know if that number is accurate. At this time they say that teen boys are involved more than teen girls. But kids as young as six have been reported as playing the game, especially if they have older siblings.

Sit down with your teen tonight and ask them if they've ever known anyone who played the Choking Game. You may be shocked at the answers you get. I know I was.

Related Tags: high, parenting, teenagers, death, choking, adolescents, teen girls, raising teenagers, parentjuicecom, bloodshot eyes, blacking out, danagerous, teen game, teen boys

Mary Ann Powers is the author of award winning fiction and the mother of two girls. In spite of living through one and a half teenagers she still has most of her own hair and only grinds her teeth in her sleep. You can visit her webpage at www.maryannpowers.com or see more of MaryAnn's work at Http://parentjuice.com. A community site for parents raising teenagers.

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