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Whoa, Momma!

Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Tracey Henry and Suzannah DiMarzio

A deadly 'game'



There are so many stories that fall into the every parent's nightmare category but this one truly fits the bill: An 11-year-old St. Petersburg girl died in her home last week while playing a so-called choking game, or suffocation roulette. Deneathia Service intentionally tied a belt around her neck and hung herself. She was playing the game with her 5-year-old sister. (Read more of Times reporter Waveney Ann Moore's story here).

Apparently, this "game'' is growing in popularity and is being played by kids around the United States, Canada and other parts of the world. Known as the "blackout game'' or ''space monkey'', at least 82 kids have died while playing this game since 1995, according to a report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. By choking themselves, the players are supposed to get a feeling of euphoria.

The family’s attorney, state Rep. Darryl Rouson, said, “It’s absolutely tragic what happened to this young lady and to the extent we tell other children of the extreme danger, like death, hopefully we can save some lives.’’

I hope they do. You don't want to scare your kids with the news but it's a good idea to talk with them whenever you get a chance about dangerous behavior. If nothing else, tell your kids that games are supposed to be fun -- they aren't supposed to kill you.

-- Sherry Robinson

[Last modified: Thursday, May 13, 2010 10:55am]


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