Guelph Police: Choking game has fatal consequences
Published Thursday, September 20, 2012 7:02PM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, September 22, 2012 5:05PM EDT
In just a few seconds it can give you a warm, fuzzy feeling. It's a temporary sensation that could lead to permanent brain damage or even death.
Guelph police say there have been several incidents of something called the choking game, being played in local high schools including Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic High school in Guelph.
Police say a group of students there have been spoken to about this, after posting a video to YouTube demonstrating how to play the so called game.
Our Lady of Lourdes principal, Mike MacPherson wants students to know that the prank could have serious or even fatal consequences. "They hyperventilate for a certain amount of time, then hold their breath, and it's alleged that they pass out." says MacPherson.
The video got the attention of police, says Sergeant Doug Pflug of the Guelph Police service.
"One can only imagine the damage that does to the brain, with the deprivation of oxygen to the brain. But what also happens, if this young person passes out, no one's there to catch them, and they fall and smack their head on the concrete, and they suffer serious brain injuries and or death." says Plug.
A group called "GASP" says as many as 250 to 1000 people die in the United States every year by playing the choking game.
One death, hit close to home for Anne Phillips whose 18-year-old son Mike tried it with his friends in Waterloo and died from brain damage. In April 2010 Phillips told CTV Kitchener "The senseless part is that very few people are speaking out about this."
Police however are speaking out. "If we can get this message out to parents, educate parents, and educate kids, we can definitely save young people's lives." says Pflug.
Principal MacPherson is also doing his part to get the word out to parents."It appears to me that they understand that this is something they should not be participating in."