Seal of Dane County County of Dane
Dane County Sheriff's Office

The Choking Game

March 08, 2008
Contact: Elise Schaffer, PIO Phone: (608) 284-6142 Email:
Sheriff's Office

Madison, WI. March 6, 2008 – Make no mistake, this is not a game. However some people, mostly children ages 9 to 16, think that it is. Dane County Sheriff’s Deputies are working to educate law enforcement and the community at large about the risks associated with this dangerous practice among young people that has been going on for generations. Hundreds of young people die in the United States each year playing some variant of the choking game. Tracking the exact number is difficult because many of the cases are reported as suicides. The asphyxiation game is also referred to is also referred to as blackout, funky chicken, space monkey, and flat liner. Teens may begin doing this with their friends thinking that it is a harmless game, when in fact they are gambling with their lives. The first high happens when the person experiences light-headedness due to reduced blood flow, a reduced flow of oxygen to the brain and the death of brain cells as this occurs. The next rush comes with the removal of pressure on the chest or neck with releases a powerful surge of dammed up blood through the carotid arteries into the brain. The practice can quickly become as addictive as a drug, driving individuals to do it even when they are alone, increasing the danger of permanent brain injury or death. Almost 96 % of deaths occurred while the child was alone and 93 % of parents said they were not aware of the game until the death of their child. For more information about how to spot the signs that someone you know may be engaging in the choking game or how to talk to your children about it, log on to ====================================================================== Dane County Community Deputies will be presenting information on the choking game to all Dane County Deputies throughout their in-service training. The training is conducted Monday through Friday from 10:30 am to 11:45 am until March 28th at the Dane County Law Enforcement Training Center. If members of the media would like to attend the training, they can contact Elise Schaffer at 284-6142 or Sgt. Lorie Wiessinger at 849-2661.