Neillsville, Wis. CWB News -- Over the years, kids have done a bunch of dangerous things to get a “buzz,” but the “choking game” might just be the most ill-conceived.
"It's not a game at all," explains Brittany Boyer, a registered nurse with the Clark County Department of Public Health. "It's the act of adolescents suffocating on purpose. They cut off the flow of blood to the brain and they get a few seconds of feeling light-headed."
Boyer says some kids strangle themselves with a rope, belt or bare hands. Others push on their chest or hyperventilate.
And Boyer says it’s not just the “bad” kids doing it.
"These adolescents are generally very high achieving in their academics, they're very active in activities and sports at school and they don't want to risk getting caught with drugs or alcohol," she says.
About 250 to 1,000 adolescents die every year playing the “choking game.” Boyer says those numbers are probably under-reported, because many of the deaths associated with it are deemed suicides.
Parents and others should be on the lookout for kids that have bloodshot eyes, frequent headaches, locked doors, marks on their neck and wear marks on bedposts and closet rods.