May 17, 2018 (Edmonton) – Alberta Party MLA Karen McPherson is calling for more awareness and education about a dangerous trend often referred to as the “Choking Game”.
“There is a serious lack of information and education regarding this issue. Often there are no warning signs for a parent that their child is engaging in self-choking behaviour, and for some parents the first time they hear of it is after a tragedy. ”
McPherson pointed out that kids have easy access to videos online that often portray the behaviour as a game, and that many kids also learn about it from their peers.
“Any time you cut off oxygen for a prolonged period, you are in extreme danger of long-lasting injury or even death. There needs to be more education available to make children and parents very aware of the risks.”
In addition to promoting more education and awareness, MLA McPherson is also calling for better understanding of how widespread the issue is.
“One of the challenges in addressing this issue is that deaths from self-asphyxial behaviour are often classified as suicide. My hope is that as we bring more awareness to this issue, we will do a better job of identifying and stopping it before it is too late.”
McPherson will be speaking today in the legislature about the “Choking Game”, and will be pushing the government to act on the issue. She will also be introducing activist Kerri Workman, whose son Bryce passed away in 2014 while playing the “Choking Game”, and who is in Edmonton to speak to the Ministries of Education and Health about prevention.
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Director of Communications
Alberta Party Caucus