ERIC Number: EJ922132
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Jun-7
Reference Count: N/A
"Choking Game" Yields Varying Responses from Educators: Some Fear Addressing the Dangerous Activity Could Prompt Copycats
Samuels, Christina A.
Education Week, v25 n39 p8-9 Jun 2006
A spate of deaths among young people around the country in the past year has brought further media attention to an asphyxial activity known as "the choking game." But the subject is a sensitive one for schools. Some administrators have actively enlisted in efforts to inform students and parents about the risks of practices like the choking game, while other educators say they are worried that publicizing the subject among students risks inspiring copycat behavior. The number of minors in the United States who might be dying from asphyxial activities is completely anecdotal, with estimates ranging from fewer than 100 deaths per year to more than 500. Neither figure has any solid basis in data, experts warn, and little research on the subject exists. Sometimes, such practices take place in groups, in which participants are able to revive each other if one loses consciousness. In some cases, participants hold their breath or hyperventilate to pass out; in others, they use some kind of ligature, such as a belt or cord, to choke off their air supply. Deaths occur most often when people engage in the practice alone, using a ligature. From the perspective of health professionals, alerting parents about the specific dangers of the choking game is a good approach. For students, general warnings about the activity can be incorporated into lessons about other risky behaviors, they say.
Descriptors: Youth Problems, Self Destructive Behavior, Death, Risk, Student Behavior, Parent School Relationship
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
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