Warning Issued About Choking Game

Police and school officials are issuing warnings about a potentially fatal game gaining popularity among teenagers after the death of a 14-year-old boy.

Eighth-grader Rodney Webster died last week after choking himself to deprive his brain of oxygen so he could feel a brief rush when the blood flow returned.

His death prompted Whitefield Police Chief Bill Colburn and school officials to create pamphlets outlining the danger of the so-called "choking game." They will be distributed Monday when children return from winter break.

"They need to make people aware," said Webster's mother, Lori. "We don't want this to happen to anybody else."

Her son was a wrestler and eighth-grade class president.

The game — also known as space monkey, flat-liner, fainting game and black out — was responsible for more than 50 deaths last year and eight this year, according to the Stop The Choking Game Web site.

It can also cause brain damage, strokes, seizures and retinal damage.