By Nicole Allard
Other Names Used for the Choking Game:
Other names have been used for this game by teens, and some include Space Monkey, Fainting, Pass Out Game, Black Out Game, American Dream, Flatliner, Space Cowboy,
Knock Out, Gasp, Rising Sun, Airplaning. There could, and probably are many more.
Why do Kids do this?
They do it because it gives them a high, which they can become addicted to. They also may think it’s cool. To them, it’s risky and fun. Maybe many of their other friends do it too. Remember what it felt like to be a teen? You were invincible, nothing could stop you, you were in control and could take care of yourself. You didn’t really understand that you could die. It just wasn’t something that crossed your mind. Well, that’s how these kids feel. It’s not a drug, it’s not alcohol, not even a cigarette. They just don’t understand how dangerous and fatal it can be.
How to Recognize the Symptoms and Know if Your Teen is Trying this Game:
Unfortunately, there is no real test, but there are physical signs that you can look for. Stop the Choking Game lists these as some symptoms:
1. Inexplicable marks or bruises on the throat
2. Frequent severe headaches
3. Redness of the eyes
4. Belts, leashes, ropes, shoelaces tied in strange knots or found
in unusual locations.
5. Unexplained cuts or bruises from falling
6. Disorientation after spending time alone
7. Locked bedroom doors
There could be one or just some of these signs in your teen. Check your teen’s throat area for unusual marks. Snoop around their room when they are not home to check for the items listed in number 4. Sometimes you may find some belts with marks on them in several places, rather than just the bend on them that happens when you wear them. Teens addicted to this game will tend to use anything they can find to restrict oxygen. Look for strange objects they could possibly use to choke themselves with. Search in places where they could try to hide things from you. Remember, they know this is wrong, and certainly don’t want you to find out about it.
More in Part 3: What to do if You Think Your Child May be Trying This, Resources for More Information About The Choking Game, etc.