I read an article this morning about the ‘choking game’ which brought back a lot of memories, and not good ones. My friends and I used to play this game and evidently kids still do today, which is frightening. It shouldn’t even be considered a game. Kids put their lives at risk each time they play it.
We were in middle school when the ‘choking game’ was introduced. After hearing about it, my two friends and I rushed to one of their homes to try it. I won’t explain how the game is played, because it is not my intention to promote it.
My friend Kim went first. We were smart in the sense that we played the game while sitting on the bed. Kim passed out, but only for a few seconds. Then it was my turn. Causing yourself to pass out is a very odd feeling.
The room started spinning, and I was looking through what appeared like heat waves from a fire. A moment later, I was out. When I awoke a few seconds later, an eerie feeling came over me. It’s a bit unnerving to lose time. What happened while I was unconscious?
Then the game took a bad turn…
The last person to go was my friend Stacy. She got into position and began. Within a few moments, she passed out. However, things didn’t go as planned. Stacy immediately started having a seizure. Her body was shaking out of control and she fell off the bed. Her room was small and there was wooden furniture all around her.
At only 12 years old at the time, Kim and I had never seen anyone have a seizure before. We had no idea what to do and no one was home, but us. Stacy was rolling and shaking on the floor uncontrollably. We tried to hold onto her, but we couldn’t. Her body was moving everywhere.
So we waited it out, while shielding her from hitting the furniture. It was horrible.
After a few minutes, she finally came out of it. We were in shock staring at her, wondering if she was okay. She looked up at us and then around the room, and asked what had happened. It was only after we told her about the seizure, that she confided in us that she had suffered with seizures her entire life.
Having not ever played that game before, she didn’t know that it would cause her to have one. But it did, and it was awful to watch her go through that.
When a person risks their life to do something, it is not a game. People die from doing this. As mentioned in the article I referenced above, “We have had four of our young people die from the choking game in the last three years.”
You may think that your kids would never try such a thing, and I’m sure that the thought never crossed my mother’s mind either. But, kids will be kids. They explore and seek out new ways to have fun. That’s just part of growing up.
However, it’s our responsibility as parents to advise our children not to do such things, whether we think they’ll try it or not.
We were all kids once and we all made bad choices, but our kids don’t have to make the same ones.