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The choking game (also known as the fainting game and a wide variety of local slang names), refers to intentionally cutting off oxygen to the brain with the goal of inducing a temporary high. It is all too common for kids, generally in the 9-16 year age ranges to be doing this together with friends/siblings and/or on their own (self-asphyxiation). THIS IS DANGEROUS AND SHOULD NOT EVER BE DONE.
Any activity that deprives the brain of oxygen has the potential to cause moderate to severe brain cell death leading to permanent loss of neurological function ranging from difficulty in concentration or loss of short term memory capacity through severe, lifelong mental disability to death.
We strongly encourage parents, teachers and all to familiarize themselves with the signs of the game. These include: discussion of the game; bloodshot eyes; marks on the neck; severe headaches; disorientation after spending time alone; ropes, scarves, and belts tied to bedroom furniture or doorknobs or found knotted on the floor; and unexplained presence of things like dog leashes, choke collars and bungee cords.
Please speak with all of the children and youth in your lives about this dangerous phenomenon. Here is some additional information and we will continue to post important information and access to resources here:
CTV News: Father Speaks Out On Choking Game
Wikipedia: Choking Game
Prevention of the Choking Game: parent perspectives
Windsor CTV News: Deadly Choking Game Your Kids Might Be Playing
The Windsor Star: Every parent's nightmare
Windsor CTV News: Belle River girl mourned at funeral after believed 'choking game' death
Please discuss this with your family today.