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YouTube and risky behaviors in adolescents: The “choking game”

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    1 15 Michigan St NE 736B, Grand Rapids, MI 49503, United States.
    Lindsey Ouellette
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    1 15 Michigan St NE 736B, Grand Rapids, MI 49503, United States.
    Affiliations
    Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, Department of Emergency Medicine, United States
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    2 15 Michigan St NE Suite 701, Grand Rapids, MI 49503, United States.
    Maxwell Wingelaar
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    2 15 Michigan St NE Suite 701, Grand Rapids, MI 49503, United States.
    Affiliations
    Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, Department of Emergency Medicine, United States

    Department of Emergency Medicine, Spectrum Health Hospitals, Grand Rapids, MI, United States
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    2 15 Michigan St NE Suite 701, Grand Rapids, MI 49503, United States.
    Heather Heiser
    Footnotes
    2 15 Michigan St NE Suite 701, Grand Rapids, MI 49503, United States.
    Affiliations
    Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, Department of Emergency Medicine, United States

    Department of Emergency Medicine, Spectrum Health Hospitals, Grand Rapids, MI, United States
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    2 15 Michigan St NE Suite 701, Grand Rapids, MI 49503, United States.
    Anne Broad
    Footnotes
    2 15 Michigan St NE Suite 701, Grand Rapids, MI 49503, United States.
    Affiliations
    Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, Department of Emergency Medicine, United States

    Department of Emergency Medicine, Spectrum Health Hospitals, Grand Rapids, MI, United States
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  • Author Footnotes
    2 15 Michigan St NE Suite 701, Grand Rapids, MI 49503, United States.
    Rebecca Andrews-Dickert
    Footnotes
    2 15 Michigan St NE Suite 701, Grand Rapids, MI 49503, United States.
    Affiliations
    Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, Department of Emergency Medicine, United States

    Department of Emergency Medicine, Spectrum Health Hospitals, Grand Rapids, MI, United States
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  • Jeffrey Jones
    Correspondence
    Corresponding author at: 15 Michigan St NE Suite 701, Grand Rapids, MI 49503, United States.
    Affiliations
    Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, Department of Emergency Medicine, United States

    Department of Emergency Medicine, Spectrum Health Hospitals, Grand Rapids, MI, United States
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  • Author Footnotes
    1 15 Michigan St NE 736B, Grand Rapids, MI 49503, United States.
    2 15 Michigan St NE Suite 701, Grand Rapids, MI 49503, United States.
      Adolescence is a period in which many individuals experiment with risky behaviors and activities. One such activity, the “choking game,” is a strangulation activity in which pressure is applied to the neck/carotid artery to limit blood flow and oxygen, and once this pressure is released, as blood and oxygen rush back to the brain, a ‘high’ or euphoria is sometimes achieved [
      • Ramowski S.K.
      • Nystrom R.J.
      • Rosenberg K.D.
      • et al.
      Health risks of Oregon eighth-grade participants in the “choking game”: results from a population-based survey.
      ]. This pressure can be achieved using ligatures such as belts or neckties, or by utilizing another person's hands. Estimated participation rates in the choking game range anywhere from approximately 6% to 12% for adolescents, resulting in a CDC estimate of as many as 100 deaths occurring annually [
      • Bernacki J.M.
      • Davies W.H.
      Prevention of the choking game: parent perspectives.
      ,
      • Defenderfer E.K.
      • Austin J.E.
      • Davies W.H.
      The choking game on YouTube: an update.
      ]. Although there is evidence suggesting the choking game has been practiced for years, the creation of YouTube in 2005 enabled dissemination of recorded videos of people demonstrating and participating in the practice, propagating and possibly normalizing the behavior [
      • Linkletter M.
      • Gordon K.
      • Dooley J.
      The choking game and YouTube: a dangerous combination.
      ]. The primary aim of this proposal was to characterize the popularity, pattern, and descriptions of the “choking game,” a high-risk adolescent activity that is easily and often viewed on the video-sharing Web site YouTube.

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      References

        • Ramowski S.K.
        • Nystrom R.J.
        • Rosenberg K.D.
        • et al.
        Health risks of Oregon eighth-grade participants in the “choking game”: results from a population-based survey.
        Pediatrics. 2012; 129: 846-851
        • Bernacki J.M.
        • Davies W.H.
        Prevention of the choking game: parent perspectives.
        J Inj Violence Res. 2012; 4: 73-78
        • Defenderfer E.K.
        • Austin J.E.
        • Davies W.H.
        The choking game on YouTube: an update.
        Global Pediatric Health. 2016; 3: 1-6
        • Linkletter M.
        • Gordon K.
        • Dooley J.
        The choking game and YouTube: a dangerous combination.
        Clin Pediatr. 2010; 49: 274-279
        • FortuneLords
        37 mind blowing Youtube facts, figures and statistics.
        ((accessed 23 April 2018)