A top paediatrician has warned parents and teenagers about the danger of a “choking” game after a teenager boy remains in critical condition at Temple Street Children’s Hospital following the activity.
It is understood that some children have been engaging in the activity which involves placing a noose around the neck to temporarily cut off blood supply to the point just before they become unconscious, in order to get a euphoric high.
The teenage boy fell unconscious and was taken to the Dublin hospital where he is in a stable but serious condition.
Dr Kevin Carson, clinical director of Temple Street Hospital’s paediatric intensive unit, said people should know how dangerous this activity was.
“It’s very dangerous, it can have varying effects on the brain because the brain is starved of oxygen for a while and people have had loss of attention spans, short-term memory loss, seizures,” he said.
“Other children will actually end up dying and others will become severely handicapped with severe brain injury.”
He said there was a misconception that the high was ‘safe’ as it didn’t involve drugs: “The delusion is they can get a high without drugs and that it is safe, but it is far from safe.”
Speaking on RTE’s Morning Ireland radio program he said that although it was the first case in the hospital, “we know that this is happening right across the country.”
“We want to highlight to parents the dangers of this and to young people in particularly.
“The message that’s going out there is that this is not a dangerous thing and this is incorrect, this is very dangerous, and you can end up with severe brain damage or dead.”
Dr Carson encouraged parents and schools to talk to children about it and highlight the dangers.
He also confirmed that there have been 82 deaths recorded from the practice in the U.S. and the majority of these were young boys.