Springs High School Student Dies After Playing Choking Game

A dangerous--but popular--game among teens and tweens took a tragic turn over the weekend.

District 20 confirmed that a freshman died over the weekend while playing the "choking game," a means of getting high by strangling oneself or another using a rope, scarf or some other option. The activity appeals to kids because it leads to a temporary high, but it also cuts off blood and oxygen from the brain, leading to serious injury or even death if strangulation is prolonged.

The district released a statement from the parents of ninth grader Sean Hill. Sean attended Discover Canyon

It is with deep sadness and heartfelt sorrow that we inform you that one of our 9th grade students, Sean Hill, passed away unexpectedly this weekend. We have extended our support to Sean’s family, and we are honoring his family’s respect for privacy at this time by only releasing information that they have approved. Out of sincere care for you, Sean’s parents have given us permission to share that Sean died accidentally while experimenting with what’s commonly referred to as the “choking game,” and they have asked us to encourage you to please make safe decisions. Sean’s family will notify us about a memorial service, and we will keep staff and students informed as the family requests. DCC counselors and other crisis team counselors from Academy District 20 are available in the library today to help you during this difficult time. Please let your teacher know if you need to speak to someone, and a crisis team member will be available for you.

At this time, the district is not commenting further.

For parents concerned that their children may be playing the choking game, the CDC released the following warning signs:

-Discussion of the game, including other names for it, such as "pass-out game" or "space monkey"
-Bloodshot eyes
-Marks on the neck
-Severe headaches
-Disorientation after spending time alone
-Ropes, scarves, and belts tied to bedroom furniture or doorknobs or found knotted on the floor
-The unexplained presence of dog leashes, choke collars, and bungee cords.