COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- A Colorado Springs ninth grader died last week as a result of playing the "choking game," according to reports, making him the second District 20 student to die after playing the game in the last three years.
Sean Hill, a student at Discovery Canyon High School, died on April 26. His family released a statement on Monday through Academy School District-20.
"Sean died accidentally while experimenting with what's commonly referred to as the 'choking game.' (His family) has asked us to encourage you to please make safe decisions."
To participate in the choking game, one temporary asphyxiates one's self to the point of passing out. In doing so, one is able to achieve a brief high.
The game has become especially popular among the nation's youth, as evidenced by the fact that five Colorado deaths have been attributed to it between 2007 and 2011, according to the Colorado Springs Gazette. The age of the deceased children range from 9 to 16, a spokesperson for the El Paso County Health Department told the newspaper.
One of those victims was Gian-Luc Jordan. The 12-year-old, also a student in El Paso County's District 20, died due to complications related to the game in August 2011.
The Center for Disease Control confirmed that injuries and deaths from the choking game have become a source of concern. The CDC cautions parents and adults to be on the lookout for symptoms of youngsters who might be playing game, which include bloodshot eyes, marks on the neck and disorientation after being alone.
For more information about the choking game and how you can help diminish its growing popularity, click here to visit the CDC's website.