Family 411: Warning kids about the choking game
COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSYX) - It has many names and different variations but can have a common outcome - death. The "choking game" is a decades-old fascination among children.
"He was my first child and we did everything together.” Hunting, rodeos and sports, you name it, Cayden Wince did it all.
"He'd be 22 this year. I didn't get to watch him grow up.” Time has not healed his father's heart.
"Like yesterday, I mean, I remember everything.” Cayden was out of his parents’ sight no more than 10 minutes the night of January 31, 2007.
"I walked downstairs and he was sitting on the floor with a shoe string tied around his neck.” Rob Wince says Cayden died playing the choking game.
"My first thing, why'd he do it? I didn't know he was playing the choking game. Children tempt fate to get a "rush" or "high" from passing out.
"These are kids, they probably don't fully realize what they're doing.”
There are a couple variations. One is squeezing on the carotid arteries which cuts off adequate blood supply to the brain. "Another variation of this terrible theme is by getting someone to breath really fast and to blow off their carbon dioxide and then either hold their breath or push on their chest so they can't take a deep breath and this will further facilitate
losing oxygen to the brain.”
Neuroimmunologist Aaron Boster says, either way, you're flirting with something terribly dangerous. "The brain is very unforgiving. It needs oxygen all the time and if you deny oxygen even for a little bit you can have permanent damage.”
Dr. Boster says there are signs to watch for. He encourages parents to talk to their children about the risky behavior. "I'm hopeful that parents will look out for bruising on the neck or busted blood vessel.”
"You might die the first time, you might not but why take the chance?”
Cayden's family is left with unanswered questions and raw emotions nearly 10 years later. "I loved him with all my heart,” said brother Keegan.
"I wasn't supposed to bury my son. He was supposed to bury me.” A dark tale the Winces share to anyone who will listen.
"Money that I can't spend on my grandson, I can spend making awareness," said Billie Wince.
Hoping to save another family from a life of pain. "Don't live a life that I've had to live without, that my son's had to live without."
Rob Wince says he has talked with students in the past and would like to continue bringing awareness into the schools.