A North Carolina teenager died while playing the “choking game,” WRAL TV reported.
Joe and Bobbi Jo Marceno told the television station they want other parents to be aware of the deadly game, which killed their 15-year-old son Kris.
In the choking game, sometimes referred to as the fainting game, a participant deliberately deprives himself of oxygen in order to produce a high or euphoric feeling.
There are two methods in which a person can do this: Either choking himself (or a friend) or intentionally hyperventilating.
Bobbi Jo Marceno said her son had tied one end of an electrical cord around his neck and the other end to a bunk bed.
Kris’ sister later found him dead.
Kris’ friends have told the family it is a popular game at their school.
“I think I heard about (the choking game) somewhere down the line, but I never really paid attention to it,” Joe Marceno said. “I mean, we were looking for other things – the drinking, the drugs and that kind of stuff.”
Nationwide, 82 children have died playing this game in the past 13 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but studies indicate that thousands of teens have tried it.
Injuries from playing the game include concussions, bone fractures, hemorrhaging of the eye and tongue biting.
Parents should look for signs that children are playing this game, such as bloodshot eyes, marks on the neck, severe headaches or disorientation.
“I’m sure (other parents are) thinking, ‘My kid wouldn’t do that,’” Bobbi Jo Marceno said. “Well, I’m a mom of four, and my kid shouldn’t have done it, and I shouldn’t be sitting here right now, but I am.”