The choking game

Growing up in the ’60s in Massachusetts, one of the most frightening summers was spent watching a group of kids (we had no idea who they were; back then your mother turned you loose and you met up with whomever you met up with) play this game in which one would get behind the other, grab them from behind and squeeze their chest until they passed out.

The person would fall to the beach sand and — perhaps a minute later; maybe less — come back to life.

Fun times. And my brother and I wanted nothing to do with it. Kids are still playing the game.

Way back then, I was afraid I’d end up like Dan Macklin Jensen, a 17 year old Wisconsin wrestler who died while playing the game in Fargo on Friday, the Wisconsin State Journal reported.

A group formed to stop kids from playing the game produced this presentation for students:

The group says 250 to 1,000 kids die each year playing the game.

  • sandy

    and where is the lifeguard when all this is going on? I would think that they would know that their duties of LIFE GUARD extend to the sand as well as the water.

  • Bob Collins

    Lifeguard? There were no lifeguards.

  • Michelle

    The father’s name is Dan in the story you are refering to regarding a WI wrestler. The young man who passed away was named Mack. As reported in the WI State Journal, he died in Columbus, WI, not Fargo.

  • auntiesmedley

    Wow. I am very glad that this was not a part of my childhood, or practiced by my group of friends. That 911 call is one of the saddest things I’ve ever heard.

  • Judy-Wauwatosa, WI

    This saddens me because we were in the same situation 2 1/2 years ago. Our son, 13 yo., also died from the choking game. We have tried to educate others of the deadly nature of this “game”- I feel we failed our son and now this family. But we will continue in hopes of preventing any other family from this tragic loss.