Still Loving My Gabriel

February 2006 Updates
Choking Game Info
J'aimerai toujours et ā jamais mon fils GABRIEL
Schools and Police Who Are Informing
Physicians Perspectives on the Choking Game
U.S.A. and Canada Working to Stop The Choking Game!
Letter Written by Officer Scott Metheny
FRANCE: Association of Parents of Young Victims of Strangulation
Choking Game 'CINE Golden Eagle Award'
Faces of Victims: What if it was your child?
Victim Stats / Children
DoD: Department of Defense 'Safe Schools Handbook'
Homework Hotline : Parents Beware the Choking Game
Dr. Phil Show 'Deadly Teen Trends'
Deadly Game 'Geraldo at Large'
CNN: Mother missed signs of 'The Choking Game'
"Choking Game" Claims Life of One Californian Teenager
My Son
Guest Book For Gabriel Harry Mordecai
Catholic News and Views
The day this game killed my son
SaneMommy.Com TCG
October 2006 Updates
September 2006 Updates
June 2006 Updates
May 2006 Updates
April 2006 Updates
March 2006 Updates
February 2006 Updates
January 2006 Updates
December 2005 Updates
November 2005 Updates
October Update: OLD GAME
How many more kids will die before this becomes a priority concern?
Strangulation in children and preadolescents usually results from unsafe play!
Deadly Game
Links to news articles 'The Choking Game' TCG
Links Page 2
Injury Prevention 'IP' Online: Injuries among children and adolescents are often the result of thril
What Montana Says..
Dangerous Behavior Audio Guests: Elizabeth McCauley, Ph.D, Sue Eastgard,James J. Mazza, Ph.D.
Group E Mail for those of US who have lost a loved one to The Choking Game
Sarah's Notes

As I sit here updating 'February' I am once again filled with urgency to get a message out to all those who have any connection at all with 'children'. There is a statement that keeps occuring in news articles and news segments and it blows my mind to hear or read it: "I'm (we) are not aware of this happening here"  OR  " This is not happening at our school". Statements such as those (perhaps not exact quotes but the 'jist' of them) are going to result in more deaths from this deadly 'activity', The Choking Game.  Why are schools waiting until this is a 'problem' in their community before they begin educating and warning parents of this killer game? WHY? I'll bet those principles, administrators and superintendents of schools who were aware of this 'activity' killing children, WISHED they had acted before they lost one of their students in their district or school! Principles, teachers, administrators have got to band together and make sure this information travels throughout every single school in the WORLD! Enough.... I've said it before.... Ignorance, is not bliss.......... Sarah

The Choking Game: Kids Passing Out To Get A Rush Video: Watch Video 

Friday, February 10, 2006
On The O'Reilly Factor...
  • Back of Book Segment
    Trouble surrounds the "choking game"
    Guests: Parent Sarah Pacatte & Meg Grant, Reader's Digest

    Many American teens are trying the so-called "choking game," in which they "get high" by cutting off their oxygen supply until they pass out. Journalist Meg Grant estimated that as many as a thousand children die from this activity every year. "Adolescent kids are experimental, and a lot of kids think this is safer than drugs, that it's a safe high. There are all kinds of web sites that tell you how to do it and talk about how great it is." Sarah Pacatte, whose 13-year old son died playing the "game," urged other parents to look for warning signs. "Looking back, Gabriel was showing behavioral changes. He had incredibly red eyes and complained of headaches." The Factor praised Pacatte for coming forward to warn others. "You're very brave to come on and talk about this, and we hope it does some good. We want parents to know about this 'choking game.' Look for the headaches, the red eyes, bruises on the neck, or rope - it's very important that parents be aware of this."

  • The Choking GameThis article is a Blog post from "The Maverick"
    The Maverick |
    ... A deadly game, known as the choking game, is becoming popular all across America. The new trend is interesting girls and guys from ages 9-14. They are doing it in pairs or large ...
    Signs Your Teen Is Playing The Choking Game
    WSB |
    Atlanta -- Experts say parents need to be concerned if their child has bloodshot eyes, headaches, or marks on their neck. Parents should also be on the lookout for belts, leashes ...
    Choking Game Fatal To Teens |
    ... kinda been dreaming. It's called the choking game or the pass out game. And the concept is scary; kids choking each other for what they think is a quick high. "As you take your ...
    Boy's death exposes danger of 'hanging game
    Nashville Tennessean Online |

    ... happened during what some call the "choking game" or the "hanging game." Officials don't know how many young people have died from such "play" and were later thought to be ...

    Choking Game Isn't Child's PlayThis article is a Blog post from "World of Psychology"

    World of Psychology |

    ... chances are your child has: the choking game. This dangerous activity involves blocking blood flow to the brain (sometimes with help but more commonly alone) until first the child ...

    Warning: Choking game is deadly dangerous
    Farmington Daily Times |

    ... It's called "the choking game," but there's nothing playful about it. Simply put, it can be deadly or cause brain damage. Parents need to warn their children against partaking ...

    New Fad Among Kids - Choking Game |

    ... fad among kids. It's called, the choking game, flatlining, or space monkey. What is this game? The choking game is dangerous, that's for sure. It consists of cutting off their air ...

    Stop the Choking Game
    Be Informed. Warn your Kids
    Free Educational Materials & Info



    Choking Game Education
    Facts, Literature, Warnings signs
    and Family Help. Monthly


    Seventh-Grader's Death Prompts Warning

    Stamford Parents Warned of Deadly Game Children Are Playing  UPN9 Vesna Jaksic, Stamford Advocate

    'Choking Game' Suspected in Boy's Death  Video Hartford Courant

    Deadly 'Game' Kills 12 year-old CT Boy Eyewitness News

    Collier County Sheriff's Dept. Florida Issues Warning on Dangerous Kid's


    Extreme sport

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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    Jump to: navigation, search

    Extreme sport (practically synonymous with the term action sport) is a general term for sports featuring speed, height, danger or spectacular stunts. A feature of such activities in the view of some is their alleged capacity to induce a so-called ‘‘adrenaline rush’’ in participants (a misnomer, since often the rush or high obtained is a product of increased levels of dopamine endorphins and serotonin).

    Extreme sports are often associated with young adults wishing to push themselves to the limits of their physical ability and fear, in turn pushing the boundaries of a particular sport.


    Published: February 03, 2006 10:32 pm

    Youth found dead in closet

    By Jimmy Simms

    Boy Dies From 'Choking Game'

    Letter Sent Home To Parents

    POSTED: 11:04 pm EST February 6, 2006
    UPDATED: 7:59 am EST February 7, 2006


    Dangerous Game
    It’s common to hear about video games parents don’t want their kids to play, usually due to their violent, sexual, or otherwise mature content.
    But a dangerous new game kids are engaging in doesn’t require a television or a console.
    The so-called Choking Game involves young people trying to asphyxiate themselves with the apparent goal of achieving a drug-like 'high’ that could turn deadly.
    Sharron Grant learned that the hard way when her 12-year-old son Jesse died while taking part in a 'choking' session.
    “It's a nightmare that you just don't wake up from,” she says. “It's a movie that plays in your head day after day. When I found him, he had his computer cord around his neck.”
    Jesse had told her about the deadly game that he'd heard about at summer camp but she never dreamed that he was actually playing it until it was too late.
    “There were so many things I should have noticed. Blood shot eyes, the headaches,” she recalls.
    “It's happening everywhere. It's happening in the schoolyards. It's happening in the bathroom. Two are dying every week.”
    Here’s what parents should be looking for if they’re worried their kids might be taking part.
    Warning signs that your children might be playing the Choking Game:
    Any suspicious mark on the side of the neck, which could be hidden by a turtleneck, scarf or a permanently turned-up collar.Changes in personality, such as overly aggressive or agitated.Any kind of strap, a rope or a belt in your child’s possession without any reason – and they’ll likely avoid answering questions about it.Headaches, sometimes severe, loss of concentration, a flushed face.Bloodshot eyes or any other noticeable signs of stress on the eyes.A thud in the bedroom or against a wall – meaning a fall in the case of a solitary practice.Any questions about the effects, sensations or dangers of strangulation.Be aware that the Choking Game goes by other names, including Blackout, Fainting Game, Space Monkey, Dream Game, Suffocation Roulette, Pass-out Game, Flat liner, California Choke, Space Cowboy, and Airplaning.


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    Thrills That Kill

    Kids are taking risks in dangerous new ways.

    February 2006

    Click to enlarge or reduce font size. Increase  Decrease
    Dangerous Games
    Robert and Phyllis Evans considered themselves lucky. They had three wonderful children whom they adored and, after 26 years of marriage, their relationship was still solid. They owned a four-bedroom, two-story house in the woodsy, close-knit town of Mill Valley, California. In their yard, surrounded by wild blackberry bushes, they often saw fawns and bucks with giant antlers.

    One evening in November 1999, the Evanses became concerned when they noticed a red, indented mark on their son Joel's neck. It looked like the 14-year-old high school student had pulled his T-shirt tight around his throat. Or maybe someone at school had been rough with him, his father thought.

    "What happened to your neck?" his mother asked.

    "Oh, it's nothing," Joel said, and went back to playing video games on his computer.

    Joel was not a kid you had to worry about, so his parents let it go. He wasn't wild, and he didn't take drugs or drink. He was smart, responsible, even "a little nerdy," by his mother's estimation. He hadn't developed an interest in girls yet; he'd rather spend time on his computer and with his pet rabbit, Fafner. He didn't care that his jeans were too short, or that his straight bangs made him look like a little boy.

    His older brother, Daniel, 16, was the risk-taker. He'd recently been sneaking out of the house late at night to meet with friends. Joel, on the other hand, was a more cautious type. Or so his parents thought until March 2000, some months after noticing the mark on his neck, when they came home one afternoon and couldn't find him. Thinking he was playing a favorite game -- hiding so he could pop out and surprise them -- they continued looking. Phyllis Evans surveyed her son's bedroom a second time and in the dark she saw a shadow by the window. "That's when I found him," she says, her voice trembling. "He had the cord from the mini-blind wrapped around his neck, and he was just hanging there. It was such a nightmare. You just can't believe something like this can happen."

    Robert Evans immediately called 911. He cut down his son, laid him on the bed and administered CPR -- but it was too late. The coroner ruled the death a suicide, but in part because of Joel's young age, questioned whether it was intentional. None of it made any sense to his parents. This wasn't a troubled kid, or a kid who suffered from depression.

    Recently, after seeing TV reports about a disturbing trend popular among teens that goes by various names -- pass out, space monkey and the choking game -- the Evanses believe they finally know what happened. The red mark on Joel's neck was evidence, they contend, that he had been experimenting with the risky suffocation game in which kids cut off oxygen to their brains momentarily to achieve a euphoric drug-like high. Tragically, it appears that Joel, like some 1,000 youths each year, accidentally strangled himself while playing around with the cord. As for how he learned about the bizarre practice, the Evanses are convinced it was from friends and the Internet.

    Next Page:   A Private Pain



    WELCOME Visitor
    Tuesday, February 7, 2006
    HomeNews and
                                    EventsNew ParentGrowing ChildTweens & TeensFamily

    THRILL Seekers

    By Eric Olive - February 2006

    You don't like it, but many teens engage in risk taking to one extent or another. Here's how to navigate through this risky business.
    Nashville dad David Winkler has four children as different as night and day. He and his wife, Cathleen, actually drew up a contract with one of their sons when he was a teen because he was outgoing and prone to taking risks.
    "We drew up a contract with him just to establish some boundaries," Winkler says. The contract had stipends in it like "you have to be in at a certain time of night" and "you cannot travel outside of our county." And while this may seem extreme to some parents, there's no questions that teen behavior genuinely puzzles parents.
    The driving force behind risky behaviors in teens is brain development, experts say. While hormones alone used to be the culprit, "what we now know is that the frontal lobe is still maturing and that it is considered the part of the brain that handles executive functions like thinking, planning and reasoning, understanding consequences and controlling behavior," says Judy Freudenthal, clinical director at the Oasis Center, a youth-centered agency in Nashville that works to empower teens and their families to create change for themselves.
    This limited brain ability to grasp the consequences of risk-taking behavior in adolescence helps explain three key dynamics surrounding teen attitudes about risk.
    First, many teens suffer from an invincibility fable, or, the idea that bad things happen to other people. According to Jessica Giles, assistant professor of psychology at Vanderbilt, "The chance of going to jail ... the chance of getting pregnant ... the chance of crashing your car is objectively considered less probable. Part of this might result in adolescents doing things like drugs, dropping out of school or engaging in sexual activity, that to them actually doesn't seem as risky."
    Second, even when teens recognize danger, they do not weigh risk as heavily as adults do. "In their decision making, benefits play a greater role in influencing their decisions than risks do," says Giles. For example, driving fast is a thrill for some teens who are likely to view the benefit of the thrill as more important than the potential risk of a car crash.
    Third, joining others in a risky venture is not only about acceptance, it's also about social cohesion, that is "adolescents recognizing the value of shared experiences," says Giles. "So, if you're not smoking pot and all your friends are, it's not just necessarily that you won't be accepted, it's that you won't be a part of that experience. Those shared memories are part of what creates cohesion and affiliative bonds."
    "What we try to help parents recognize is that during adolescence, there is never so much change except for in infancy," says Freudenthal.
    Social cohesion is status, too. One way to stand out in the group is to take even more risk than other members in the group. Risky behavior among teens buys status and power. "Status and peer standing are very, very important in adolescence," says Giles.
    Managing Risk
    The bottom line, Giles says, is that "adolescents are going to take risks either way, to varying degrees of severity and to varying degrees of concern."
    The good news is that risk is not always bad, "because this is the time in life where teens need to try things out and discover who they are, what they're good at, and form their identity. Trying things out is the most important way of getting at some of that," says Freudenthal.
    But if all teens are going to take risks to some extent or another, what can a parent do? Should everyone be writing contracts? The key to helping teens through this important stage of development says Freudenthal, is to direct their natural tendencies. "We try to support parents and young people in understanding what's going on and help channel some of their natural proclivity for thrill-seeking behavior because it is a natural product of adolescence," she says. Examples of positive risk taking include trying out for a team or auditioning for a play. Each involves risk because there is no guarantee that the teen will make the team or get the part.
    Parents play an important role in guiding teens toward taking appropriate risks. "We really help young people discover what their passion is and find outlets for that and encourage their family to support them in that," says Freudenthal. For example, parents of teens who love sports are encouraged to attend games.
    Helping teens channel energy may alleviate the boredom that can lead to substance abuse. "The sensation seeking that goes on is about wanting thrills and adventure; it's about not wanting to be bored very often," says Freudenthal.
    So while teens share basic characteristics and may not always make the best decisions, parents can tailor their approach to their kids' individual personalities. "I think you just have to know your child, know what his personality is, know what his bent is," says David Winkler.
    Winkler's 18-year-old son, Elliot, is reserved and less likely to take physical risks so his parents encourage him to get out more. While this is his senior year of home school, he's enrolled at a local community college for some additional coursework. "It's been a good experience for him to get out and be challenged with that," Winkler says.
    "You just have to know your children and their interests, and then figure out what kind of risks are associated with the things they're interested in and try to monitor that," says Nashville mom of two, Carla Snodgrass. Like the Winklers, Snodgrass watches for risks that each of her kids are more likely to take, monitoring her son's use of PC chat rooms and her daughter's outings with friends.
    The Winklers try to provide rules while also allowing the kids to develop their own personalities. "Our philosophy with children is to help them become the best person they can be. Not trying to mold upon them exactly what we want them to be although we do provide a lot of guidance," Winkler says.
    Giles thinks this approach is often more successful than a dictatorial attitude. "Adolescents benefit from authoritative parenting, high structure combined with warmth, support and unconditional love," she says. Even when parents make a decision teens disagree with, teens "appreciate being heard and given a voice in the process," says Giles. "They benefit from open dialogue and a safe space for conversation."
    Snodgrass agrees. "If kids can talk to their parents, they have a better shot at figuring out right from wrong than if they feel from the very beginning 'I can't tell my mother this, or I can't tell my dad that because they'll do something.'" If parents want teens to listen, they need to listen to their teens as well.
    Providing a Safe Environment
    Parents can mitigate teen tendencies toward risky behavior. "To minimize risk, I always try to make my house an open environment for friends because kids want to be together, they want to hang out, they want to be where other kids are," says Snodgrass.
    "Parents can also create homes in which opportunities for risk taking are minimized," says Giles. "This means not leaving children home alone for the weekend, enforcing curfews and monitoring what children store in their rooms and the garage."
    Teen thrill seeking is a reality at least partly based in brain development. Fortunately, a safe environment, coupled with respect, structure, understanding and open communication, reduces the chances that teens will take unnecessary and excessive risks.

    Eric Olive is a freelance writer and father.
    Choking Hazard
    There's a game of self-destruction that's gaining momentum in the 9- to 14-year-old age group called the "choking game." Also called the "pass out game" or "space cowboy game," it's a form of self-asphyxiation in which the child cuts off oxygen to the brain through strangulation. When he feels as though he'll faint, he releases the restraint (i.e. rope or belt) from around his throat. When the pressure is released, the blood rushes to the brain creating a "high." Sometimes fainting will occur if the restraint is not removed quickly enough.
    Kids initially started "playing" the choking game, but now some are doing it on their own at home. If a child is performing self-asphyxiation and passes out before releasing the restraint, he essentially strangles himself.
    Signs that may indicate that your child is playing or has played the choking game include: marks on the side of the neck, a flushed face or excruciating headaches or a rope or belt lying randomly about for no reason.
    To learn more about the choking game,talk to your  pediatrician or visit

    Related To Story

    Clearcreek Elementary Concerned Over Games

    POSTED: 2:47 pm EST February 3, 2006
    UPDATED: 5:08 pm EST February 3, 2006

    School officials at Clearcreek Elementary are concerned about some third-grade students have been caught playing a dangerous game of choking. When most people think of third-grade games during recess or lunchtime, they think of baseball or dodgeball. However, a handful of third-graders at Clearcreek Elementary School are playing a dangerous game that could take their lives. They are holding their breath to see if can hold it the longest. The principal believes one child passed out recently because of the incident. Parent Joshua Burnett said, “My first reaction was to take my daughter out of school and home-school her." Parents have been sent two letters warning them of the choking game. The superintendent has been informed of children who have died from it. Dr. David Baker said if students are not able to hold their breath, someone else might put their hands over the student’s mouth to help them. Third-graders have also been playing a game called Operation Bully. In the game, a child must see how hard they can push a classmate. Then the classmate has to go and push someone else. Burnett said it makes him wonder where the teachers are. He said, “We trust these people to make sure our children are well cared for and learning in a safe environment." Baker said school officials have met with students and warned them to stop both games. And by putting out two letters, they hope parents can help reinforce the dangers of both games. The superintendent hopes that parents will continue to talk with their children. He also said since the letters went out, they have not had any more problems. Baker said he will consider counseling or taking action against third-graders who may play the games again.

    Seventh-Grader's Death Prompts Warning

    Stamford Parents Warned of Deadly Game Children Are Playing  UPN9

    February 7, 2006
    By Vesna Jaksic, Stamford Advocate
    STAMFORD -- Evan O'Connor, 12,

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