Choking game: Kids are dying to play - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Choking game: Kids are dying to play

Airplaning, space cowboy and suffocation roulette: They're all different names for the "choking game". A game many kids are playing; a game where many kids are dying.

Two parents share their story on how their lives changed because of a so-called game.

Justin's room is just five steps from his parents' bedroom. Kim Serrano says, "Just guilt. I'm not functioning." Kim thought her 13 year old was playing a game.

"It took me a minute to figure out what I was looking at. I was looking at a lifeless body up against his bed with his belt around his neck, and I started hollering like a madman," says his father, Jeff.

"The what if's. What if we would have checked on him sooner," Kim continues.

The death certificate says suicide. "We haven't changed his bed sheets or washed his laundry. His room is like the same. We don't know what to do with it."

Every sleepless minute and hour, for a month, his parents wondered why? "Our life ended that day."

Then, they saw this story on the news. "It' a choking game where teens wrap things around their neck to cut off blood to the brain, and, when then blood rushed back, it creates a high. But it is incredibly dangerous."

The Serrano's finally knew what happened to their son. A new study by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention shows they are not alone. And medical experts, like Dr. Michael Christopher, are concerned. He says since 1995 85 cases could be related to the choking game.

"If I had seen him doing something like that we would have taken his door off his room and he [would] have been sleeping on the bed in between us."

Justin's picture is now tattooed on his dad's leg. He can't come to terms with this senseless death. "I want so much for him to give me a final answer as to what he was doing."

The day Justin died, Jeff held his little boy like he did the day he was born. This time he put his ear to Justin's chest. "And I waited for his heart to stop."

For more information about the choking game, including warnings signs, go to the CDC's Web site.

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