Doing the Funky Chicken for kicks: the choking game gets updated
EVER do The Funky Chicken? It’s where the children hyperventilate until they pass out. This report worries about its popularity in South Australia.
The Australian Medical Association (AMA) says the big issue is with the falling down and hitting your head. Dr Patricia Montanaro from the AMA says:
“Death can occur in extreme cases, it becomes more of an accident at the end.”
A quick search of the web tells us that funky chicken is “That smell, you know it, when chicken has been left out too long”.
It is also the name of a chicken restaurant in London.
Most famously is is the name of a tune by Rufus Thomas.
It’s hard to find evident that the new Funky Chicken has led to deaths.
We did come across thumb-blowing. The Times tells us: of a boy placed in a medically-induced coma:
A 12-year-old boy who watched an internet video that showed him how to make himself faint by trying a “thumb-blowing” craze had to be placed in a coma and spent 36 hours in hospital, his parents said yesterday.
Sam Thomas, of St Columb Minor, Cornwall, fell and hit his head after carrying out the stunt, which is shown in several videos online and involves hyperventilating before applying pressure to the chest. Sam’s parents, Celia and Rob Thomas, have since warned other young people against trying the craze.
“We didn’t know if he was going to wake up knowing us,” Mrs Thomas told a local newspaper, Newquay Voice. “We were in disbelief that this could be so dangerous. But having spoken to people, it’s not a new thing. It’s caused death before and many more children have suffered brain damage. Children at that age don’t understand things like this, there’s no fear of danger. They need to realise this is dangerous.”
Mr Thomas, a firefighter, said: “I picked him up and he had no blue in his eyes, they were all black. There was nothing I could do to help him. He didn’t know who I was, he couldn’t talk, couldn’t walk. We went to the doctor’s, and they called an ambulance.”
The schoolboy said he could now remember little about the experience. “It was all a bit scary and I would definitely say to others not to bother doing it,” he said.
It’s not new.
In 2010, a doctor wrote in the New York Times of the ‘hocking game:
Two years ago the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 82 deaths attributable to the choking game and related activities. This year the C.D.C. released the results of the first statewide survey and found that one in three eighth graders in Oregonhad heard of the choking game, while more than one in 20 had participated.
The popularity of the choking game may boil down to one fact: adolescents believe it is safe. In one recent study, almost half of the youths surveyed believed there was no riskassociated with the game. And unlike other risk-taking behaviors like alcohol or drug abuse where doctors and parents can counsel teenagers on the dangers involved, no one is countering this gross misperception regarding the safety of near strangulation.
It was an educated guess that the choking game was behind the children’s deaths.
In 2008, the Washington Post reported:
Deaths were identified in 31 states, with no geographic concentration. The report also included case studies of two individuals who had died.
The first was of a 13-year-old boy who died at a hospital one hour after his mother found him in the corner of his bedroom with a belt around his neck. After his death, teens told the director of a local counseling agency that the game had been played at local parties. The second case was that of a 13-year-old girl whose brother found her dead one morning, hanging from a belt and shoelace fashioned into a noose on the door of her bedroom closet. She had died the night before. Prior to her death, the girl had told a cousin that she had played the choking game at her school’s locker room and that another group of girls at her school had been suspended for playing the game.
A 15-year-old boy has died in a freak accident after he fell onto a drinking glass, slashing his neck while playing the notorious ‘pass out’ game in his bedroom with friends. Copying instructions he had seen on YouTube, David Nuno lost consciousness and fell face first to the ground severing his cartoid artery at his Chula Vista, California home.
A group called Games Children Shouldn’t Play says the game is not a game and goes by many names:
Blackout, Fainting Game, Space Monkey, Dream Game, Suffocation, Roulette, Passout, Flatliner, California High, Airplaning, Space Monkey, American Dream, Funky Chicken, Tingling, Gasp.
Any of you played this game?