A Colorado mom is spreading the word about a dangerous game after her son's death last week.
Tia Bodkins, from Elizabeth, CO, last saw her 11-year-old son Carson alive and well when she sent him to his room to pack for a family trip. Ten minutes later she found him passed out and not breathing after playing a “choking game” that is popular with kids online. She performed CPR and paramedics later provided additional treatment. Carson was rushed to a local children’s hospital, but doctors were unable to revive him.
In an interview with local news station FOX 31, Tia said that Carson had been playing a game where the goal is to hold your breath for extended periods of time. The goal is to cut off oxygen and experience a high. Tia urges parents to monitor their children’s Internet activity to make sure they aren’t being exposed to these dangerous games.
“We have Internet blocks, Internet protections for all of the boys. But I had let him look at YouTube so he could learn skateboarding tricks, I assumed that's what he was looking at," she said.
She urged parents to check their kids' online history as well. Carson’s stepfather Jason Davis agreed, saying it's important even if it breeds resentment. “As parents, the responsibility lies on us to go in and make sure [kids] are protected, and sometimes that might be an invasion of their privacy."
Kurt Naber, the principal of Carson’s school, explained that parents need to be aware of these harmful trends, adding that they are surprisingly popular with kids Carson’s age. "This is probably more widespread than most parents and most schools would assume," he said. Kids who play the game may have frequent headaches and bloodshot eyes.
The family set up a memorial fund for Carson and hope to build and dedicate a playground or skatepark to him in their community.
“We're living minute-by-minute. We're all very sad. We miss him very much," Tia said.