MISD, Parents Want to Shut Down the "Choking Game"

By Cierra Putman
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - The choking game is a deadly game of chance where kids choke other kids to get a high. Now Midland ISD is trying to make sure parents are equipped to help their children.

After the unexpected death of a child over the holidays, who may have been playing the "Choking Game," the Midland Independent School District moved up their choking game meeting up to make sure parents are up to speed.

Space monkey, rocket ride, funky chicken - they all sound like funny names, but they're names for the "Choking Game" - an activity where people intentionally suffocate themselves to get a natural high.

"It becomes an addictive sensation for some individuals," Educational Consultant, Andy Sutaita said.

Midland ISD is trying to make sure a local child doesn't die from playing the game, but some fear they may already be too late.

"We had planned this meeting for March, but because of some situations that came up over the Christmas (break), we decided to move it up because we needed the information out sooner," Rusk Elementary School Counselor, Mary Burrichter said.

After hearing a boy she knew may have died trying to play the "Choking Game," one Midland mother of three wanted to know more.

"I think that kids are going to experiment," Tamara Willis said. "It's curiosity and peer pressure and we need to make sure they're aware those things can also hurt us."

Experts say most kids learn about the game from older children or on the web. So, one thing all parents need to do is pay attention to what their kids are doing on the Internet. Now you can do that by clicking on the history button on your browser or by getting some tracking software.

Some physical signs of play include blood shot eyes, frequent and unusual headaches, and weird neck marks.

And kids need to know this game is just as bad as some street drugs.

Side effects include loss of brain cells, seizures, strokes and sometimes death.

"I'm going to go home and research more on the Website that he mentioned," Willis said. "I learned there's probably a lot more kids out there doing it than what we realized."

Experts say boys and girls between the ages of nine to 16 are the most at risk.

As well as MISD, Sutaita said other school districts in the area are asking him to come do a presentation for their parents.