Teens and parents warned about danger of ‘choking game’

Teenage boy is in serious condition in Temple Street hospital after the activity

A paediatrician has warned parents and teenagers about the danger of an activity called the choking, or fainting game, after a seriously ill teenage boy was admitted to Temple Street Children’s Hospital following the activity. Photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

A paediatrician has warned parents and teenagers about the danger of an activity called the choking, or fainting game, after a seriously ill teenage boy was admitted to Temple Street Children’s Hospital following the activity. Photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

Thu, Oct 10, 2013, 11:44

A paediatrician has warned parents and teenagers about the danger of an activity called the choking, or fainting game, after it emerged that a teenage boy was seriously ill in Temple Street Children’s Hospital following the activity.

Some children, mainly in the 11-16-year-old category, have been engaging in the practice which involves putting a noose around their necks, or choking each other, to the point just before they become unconscious, in order to get a euphoric high.

The boy, in his early teens, fell unconscious and was taken to Temple Street where he is in a stable but serious condition.

Dr Kevin Carson, clinical director of Temple Street Hospital’s paediatric intensive unit said people should know how dangerous this activity was. There was a misconception that the “high” was safe as it didn’t involve drugs.

“It’s very dangerous, it can have varying effects on the brain because the brain is starved of oxygen for a while and people have had loss of attention spans, short-term memory loss, seizures,” he said.

“Other children will actually end up dying and others will become severely handicapped with severe brain injury.”

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland he said although it was the first case in the hospital “we know that this is happening right across the country”.

More than 80 deaths have been linking to the choking game in the US.

While some parents might be reluctant to draw their children’s attention to the activity, Dr Carson encouraged parents and schools to talk to children about it and highlight the dangers.