11-year-old dies from deadly 'choking challenge' in which kids are strangling themselves until they pass out
11-year-old Carson Bodkins from Colorado was found unresponsive in his bedroom after taking part in the 'choking challenge' and died in a hospital a short while later
The parents of a Colorado boy who died after playing a viral online game that encourages participants to choke themselves until they pass out want other parents to be aware of what their children are doing when they're alone.
11-year-old Carson Bodkins was found dead inside his bedroom at his home in Elizabeth, Colorado. Speaking to KOAA News, his parents said that their son would still be alive today if they had known about the dangerous online game previously. His mother, Tia Bodkins, spoke out about how she realized something had gone wrong after Carson did not respond while he was supposed to be packing for an upcoming trip.
"Ten minutes went by but he didn't come down," she said. "Carson's brain had gone too long without oxygen so there was irreversible damage." He was subsequently rushed to the hospital but would not survive his injuries and died a short time later.
The family posted Carson's story on GoFundMe where they asked people to donate so they could give back to the community. A statement read, "Carson’s life was all about having fun. We would like to continue Carson’s legacy by making a donation to the community that he loved in his name. Anyone who met Carson has been impacted by him and he gave everyone so much, we would love to give back."
Donations quickly crossed the goal of $5,000 and stood at $7,525 at the time of writing. Moved by the support, the family released another statement where they wrote, "Our family is overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and thoughtfulness of all of you. Our friends, family, co-workers, community, and even people we don’t know have reached out to donate to Carson’s Memorial Fund. We are very grateful for the overwhelming response in just two days. Nothing has helped more than the outreach of you all, and it’s humbling for us to say the least."
In an effort to ensure that no other child falls victim, they are now working tirelessly to spread the word about the game which is known by catchy names such as '5 Minutes of Heaven,' 'America Dreaming,' 'California High,' 'Cloud Nine,' 'High Riser,' and 'Harvey Wall Banger.'
According to the Sun, studies show that more than 250 kids have died since 2001 directly as a result of partaking in the challenge. While prevention is difficult, there are reportedly tell-tale signs that indicate your child is engaging in the challenge and these include bloodshot eyes, unexplainable marks on the neck, frequent severe headaches, and disorientation after spending time alone.
Culture of Safety cited research that stated that when one student was found to be playing the choking game, inevitably, others were playing too. The website implored parents and guardians to keep a watchful eye out for warning signs and share a list of the common terms children use for the choking game so they could catch the trend before it spreads further.