By the time Chance Gregory and his brother Kalen become teenagers...they'll have played all kinds of games...from football games and board games to video games. But, one game their parents hope they never play is the choking game.
Look at Chance's face when I asked if he's ever heard of it. "No, but I'm not doing it."
He shouldn't. The choking game also known as the fainting game, pass out and space monkey, involves cutting off the blood flow to one's head which apparently creates a feeling of euphoria for a few seconds - just before the person blacks out. A recent survey showed one in seven students at a Texas University had participated in the game at least once. The Internet is filled with videos of teenagers playing the game.
According to the survey, kids not much older than Kalen, average age 14, are playing it right under their parents noses. And the game has even cost some kids their lives.
"Any time you deprive your brain of oxygen, you're asking for trouble."
Caddo Parish Coroner, Doctor Todd Thoma, says while the majority of those who play don't die, they do risk a long list of long-term problems.
"Psychological dysfunction, neural vegetative disfunction, cognitive problems... none of these things can be well documented." I'm getting scared right now."
And he should be very scared. In Tyler, the choking game became such a problem, school administrators held a press conference to warn parents of the game some of their kids were playing.
"It's a very dangerous game."
Experts say there are ways for parents to tell if their kids are playing the game. They include frequent headaches, repeated episodes of fainting, difficulty sleeping, behavior changes and more.
Authoriities say the best prevention is talking to your children about the dangers.