Any young person could be intrigued enough to try the “Choking Game”, but it is mostly done by boys and girls between the ages of 9-16 years old. Many believe that the game is harmless.
Parenting expert Michele Borba, Ed.D. says, “The Choking Game can be ‘played’ as a dare game in a group and has become popular at slumber parties. Kids take turns ‘choking’ each other or another kid gives a hard bear hug from behind or applies pressure under the child’s heart (usually with the head of the other participant) until the victim passes out.” This game has actually been around for several decades, but participants now use ropes or belts more often and are doing it alone, making it even more dangerous.
The idea behind the choking game is to release the pressure on the carotid artery just before passing out. Wait too long, and a rope or belt around the neck tightens as the weight of the unconscious body pulls down. There is also a chance of seizures or stroke.
The Real Danger
“The real danger with this is actually getting it right the first time. Now your impression is, ‘I’m smarter than those people who killed themselves. They aren’t as good at it as me.’ You think, ‘I can push it farther; I can set my noose tighter or longer. I bet I can get even higher.’” Alfred Sacchetti, chief of emergency medicine at Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center in Camden, N.J. also a spokesperson for the American College of Emergency Physicians.