​The 'Pass-Out Challenge' Has Kids Dangerously Choking Themselves Out Cold

Earlier this year we saw the bizarre rise of the 'Tide Pod Challenge' which saw teenagers videoing themselves putting a pod of Tide laundry detergent into their mouth - and eating it.

But while that was making headlines, there's another dangerous trend that has been around for some time - one that's even more concerning.

The 'Pass-Out Challenge' or 'Choking Game' involves people temporarily cutting off the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain, and in turn experiencing a moment of euphoria and light-headedness.

According to Time, there are tons of videos on YouTube showing the challenge in action, proving just how popular it has become over the years.

But intentionally cutting off your own oxygen supply is just about as dangerous as it sounds, and the game has claimed many young lives as a result.

Back in 2010, 12-year-old Erik Robinson became a victim of the trending challenge when he accidentally strangled himself.

Credit: Erik's Cause
Credit: Erik's Cause

His mother, Judy Rogg, has since campaigned to raise awareness of the dangerous game, having set up an organisation called Erik's Cause.

"Erik was a normal, bright and curious 6th grader - an 'A' student, boy scout, and athlete who had focused plans and dreams for his future," the Erik's Cause website says.

"He learned about this from a schoolmate the day before he tried it at home and died.

"There were no warning signs because he had only just learned of it.

"Had we known about it's dangers, we would have discussed it and I am confident that he never would have attempted to 'play' it... he would be alive today.

The website continued: "Erik's dream was to be a soldier - he wanted to save lives.

"Our mission is to honor his legacy by saving the lives of other kids and to keep families from experiencing this type of devastating loss."

Credit: CBS
Credit: CBS

Malani O'Connor, whose 12-year-old son Evan also died from the challenge, told CBS News that it is important to talk to children.

She said: "Learn from our horrible tragedy that the there are kids out there doing it that you couldn't even imagine would."

CBS News medical correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton added that parents should also look out for any signs of deadly game, including ropes, plastic bags or ties.

Physical signs also include bloodshot eyes, complaints of headaches and marks around the neck.

Time reports that in December last year, YouTube announced that it would increase efforts to stop the potentially dangerous videos, hiring more people to check the website and remove any videos that threaten young people - including 'Choking Game' footage.

"We work to quickly remove flagged videos that violate our policies," a YouTube spokeswoman told Time.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Jess Hardiman

Jess Hardiman is a journalist who graduated from Manchester University with a BA in Film Studies, English Language and Literature, and has previously worked for Time Out and The Skinny among others.

Next Up

arrow-down arrow-left arrow-right arrow-up camera clock close comment cursor email facebook-messenger facebook Instagram link new-window phone play share snapchat submit twitter vine whatsapp logoInline safari-pinned-tab Created by potrace 1.11, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2013