This was one of the most difficult stories I've ever had to report. With a teenage son, this hit very close to home. Dylan Piefer was fourteen years-old when he died this past Saturday. Watch the story here. The San Mateo County Coroner told the mother, it appeared he's the latest victim of the Choking Game. Kids are using several different methods to restrict their airways and cutoff oxygen to the brain. As they pass out and revive, they get a rush, similar to what a person experiences using inhalants. But, the experts say the Choking Game is not easily controlled and can be very dangerous.
I wanted to pass on the warning signs for parents, from the CDC website:
- Discussion of the game or its aliases
- Bloodshot eyes
- Marks on the neck
- Wearing high-necked shirts, even in warm weather
- Frequent, severe headaches
- Disorientation after spending time alone
- Increased and uncharacteristic irritability or hostility
- Ropes, scarves, and belts tied to bedroom furniture or doorknobs or found knotted on the floor
- The unexplained presence of dog leashes, choke collars, bungee cords, etc.
- Petechiae (pinpoint bleeding spots) under the skin of the face, especially the eyelids, or the conjunctiva (the lining of the eyelids and eyes)
And here are some of the aliases:
- Pass-out game
- Space monkey
- Suffocation roulette
- Scarf game
- The American dream
- Fainting game
- Something dreaming game
- Purple hazing
- Blacking out/blackout
- Dream game
- Flat liner
- California choke
- Space cowboy
- Purple dragon
- Cloud nine
We found those videos all over the internet, on YouTube and parents' group, the Dangerous Behavior Foundation. Click here for more information.
*** Update December 13th at 10:30am ***
I spoke with Dylan's father, Phillip. He's devastated by his son's death; they were very close. He says he knows that Dylan did not commit suicide. Phillip has been out of work, and he's asking if anyone would like to help pay the funeral expenses, please donate to the "Dylan Piefer Memorial Fund" at any Bank of America Branch.