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Jim Liebelt Christian Blog and Commentary

Many Doctors Unaware of Deadly 'Choking Game'

  • Jim Liebelt
    Jim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University. Jim has over 25 years of experience as a youth and family ministry specialist, and has been on the HomeWord staff since 1998. He has served over the years as a pastor, author, youth ministry trainer, adjunct college instructor and speaker. Jim’s culture blog and parenting articles appear on HomeWord.com. Jim is a contributing author of culture and parenting articles to Crosswalk.com. Jim and his wife Jenny live in Olympia, WA.
  • 2009 Dec 15
  • Comments

It would be wise for parents to take note of "choking game" warning signs, listed below...

Almost a third of U.S. doctors have never heard of the "choking game" played by many teens, nor can they spot the tell-tale signs of the potentially lethal pass-time.

Also known as the "blackout game," "pass-out game," "scarf game" and "space monkey," among other monikers, the activity involves intentionally trying to strangle oneself or another, using hands or some sort of noose to briefly achieve an euphoric state.

The "game" can also cause seizures, headaches, bone breaks and brain injury -- if not death.

A survey in the January issue of Pediatrics, which was published online Dec. 14, reports that almost one-third of family doctors and pediatrics are unaware of the "game." And although two-thirds of physicians said the issue should be discussed during office visits, only 2 percent reported actually having done so.

"There needs to be a more standardized approach to education [of doctors]," said study first author Dr. Julie McClave, a pediatric resident at Rainbow Babies. "Hopefully by giving more information about warning signs and how prevalent this is in adolescents, more physicians will be aware."

According to McClave, warning signs parents and physicians should be aware of include bruise marks or red marks around the neck; severe frequent headaches; blood vessel breaks on the face or eyes; red eyes; aggressive behavior or a change in behavior; unusual demands for privacy, such as locked bedroom doors; and wear marks on furniture, such as bunk beds or closet rods.

Source: U.S. News & World Report
http://health.usnews.com/articles/health/healthday/2009/12/14/many-doctors-unaware-of-deadly-choking-game.html