Teens’ deadly ‘game’ goes viral again
THE highly dangerous "choking game", linked to the death of a Queensland teen almost two years ago, is once again being played in Brisbane schools.
Parents at Kelvin Grove State College have been alerted to the re-emergence of the deadly craze, which is being fuelled via social media.
Kelvin Grove State College middle school principal Chrissie Coogan emailed parents this week after the school discovered a number of students were playing the so-called game, where kids asphyxiate themselves on camera.
"(The choking game) involves a student depriving themselves of oxygen to the point of fainting whilst another student films the event," Ms Coogan said in her email to parents.
"The obvious risk associated with this practice is that it is life-threatening.
"Sadly, social media and YouTube has more than 36 million results on how to play 'the game', including tutorial-style videos, and I am aware that some of our students are accessing these sources in their own time."
Leading child psychologist Michael Carr-Gregg has described the so-called game as a "virus" and has warned parents not to stick their heads in the sand and ignore it.
"Every two to three years this crops up, it is driven by the internet, it is like a virus," Dr Carr-Gregg said.
"Parents must now use this as a teachable moment and talk to their kids about it."
On December 30, 2016, a Year 7 student at a Catholic school in Brisbane's northern suburbs died as a result of playing the "choking game".
In 2011, the social media trend also claimed the life of a 15-year-old Queensland schoolgirl.
Queensland Health yesterday issued a warning about the serious health consequences associated with the deadly fad.
"There is no safe way to starve your brain of oxygen, the sensation people have when they asphyxiate is actually a sign the brain is beginning to shut down," a spokeswoman said.
"The risks associated with self-asphyxiation - including death, coma and long-term brain damage - are simply not worth taking."
The Department of Education said it trusted principals to crack down on instances of inappropriate behaviour.
"Behaviours that pose a risk to the safety and wellbeing of students are taken extremely seriously, and rapid action is taken to address activities that may place a student at risk of harm," a spokesman said.