‘Choking Game’ Continues To Affect Area Families

LAKE DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – All it takes is a cursory YouTube search to find dozens of videos depicting kids passing out after cutting off circulation to their brains.

Some use their bare hands. Some strangle themselves with a belt or rope. Others push on their chest or hyperventilate.

It’s really no game at all. It’s suffocating on purpose.

“I had no clue,” Misty Rawlins said.

Rawlins lost her son, Zach, to ‘The Choking Game’ a year ago this week.

“I could’ve made my kids watch these videos with me and educated them. And maybe my son would still be here today,” she said.

Now she’s hoping to save other kids from a similar fate. Zach was an 8th grader at Lake Dallas Middle School last year.

He was 14-years-old, the average age kids begin to play the game, although some are younger.

David King was Zach’s best friend. They did everything together, including play The Choking Game.

Asked why kids were interested in it, David said, “I don’t know. A head rush.”

David remembers passing out and then making Zach promise never to play the game alone.

“It just scared me. Cause I was out for like 10 minutes,” he said.

Zach died alone in his room with a shoelace wrapped around his neck.

“I’ve lost someone that is very close to me. It hurt. A lot,” he said.

Experts tells parents to look for:

Suspicious marks around the neck.

Any strap, rope or belt lying around for no reason or tied to a door or bedpost.

Severe Headaches

A thud in the bedroom or against a wall, meaning someone has fallen.

The Rawlins family plans to launch 300 Chinese lanterns this Sunday, marking the one year anniversary of Zach’s death. They remember his life every day.

“There’s so many days I wait for him to get off the bus. You know just waiting on him, wanting him to be with us,” she said.

Zach’s Lakeside Ceremony takes place at 8 p.m. Sunday, March 18 at Willow Grove Park in Lake Dallas on 800 East Hundley Drive.

The public is welcome to attend.

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  • Linda Dzbanski

    God bless this family their struggle without their son. There needs to be an actual count of how many children we have lost from this. I lost my son Zach three years ago. Many thanks to David for having the courage to tell what happened to his friend, and to his parents for allowing him to tell. Statistics show most children learn this from a friend, it has been going on for generations it is addictive you can’t always stop doing it once you start it does damage your brain the very 1st time I hope someone will take David to a neurologist and have him watched. Peace to all there is a convention in Arlington Virginia in June for Parents and families who have lost a child from this hopefully all working together we can stop this practice.

    • vickey king

      this is Davids mother and his brain is fine he was not out for ten minutes like he sd, he was very nervous and upset but wanted to tell his best friends story he has had a very difficult time with losin his running buddy at the age of 14, i keep a very close eye on david for the first two months after Zach passed i dont think I slept very much i watched him outta fear. I hope that David will continue to get Zachs story out and I will be beside him every step of the way and some way some how We will get people to listen and be more educated on this game that is taking the lives of our babies. I appreciate the concern for david and the information on the convention keep all of us in your prayers and continue to tell everyone you encountered of this tragic game.

  • Wendi

    I sure do miss that wonderful smile you had Zach… Not a day goes by that you are not on my mind… You are truely missed and have touched so many lives… I love you to the moon and back alway!!!

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