WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- After her son sustained irreparable injuries from participating in a deadly Internet challenge, the mother warned parents to watch what their kids are looking at on social media.
- The ‘Choking Challenge’ or ‘Pass out Challenge’ involves momentary asphyxiation to attain seventh heaven has become popular on social media.
- So far, the challenge has already led to 82 deaths in recent years, reported the CDC.
As she prepares for her teenaged son’s death, Joann Bogard of Indiana issued a warning to parents to be more aware of what their children see on social media to help prevent them from taking part in a deadly challenge.
“We’ve learned that Mason attempted a challenge that he saw on social media and it went horribly wrong. The challenge that Mason tried was the choking challenge,” wrote Bogard in a Facebook post.
The grieving mom also revealed that his son who was gravely injured was still alive on Sunday. However, his injuries are beyond repair, so the family is now making arrangements to donate his organs after death.
Bogard continued her post saying: “While we are devastated that we will never experience so many things with Mason again because of a stupid social media challenge, we are able to find some comfort in the fact that Mason will save the lives of others. He would have wanted it this way. He was an extremely generous young man.”
Bogard ended her post with a plea to parents everywhere.
“We want to plead with you from the bottom of our hearts … please pay attention to what your children look at on social media. I know our kids always complain that we’re being too overprotective but it’s ok, it’s our job.”
Over the years, the choking challenge has gone by many names like “Flatliner,” “Pass-Out Challenge” and “Space Monkey, reported the TIME. The objective of the challenge is temporary asphyxiation — to experience a brief moment of ecstasy. The lethal game has now become popular on various social media sites using the #ChokingChallenge hashtag.
In recent years, 82 deaths have been reported to have resulted from the “choking game” according to 2008 CDC reports.
Bogard joins a growing number of parents whose children died from the life-threatening game and who are now striving to educate parents and students about the dangers of social media fads.
Ken Tork, whose 15-year-old son “accidentally strangled” himself in 2009 while participating in the choking game, has committed to preventing similar deaths by teaching students about the dangers of Internet challenges.
“It’s gotten more extreme,” Judy Rogg who lost his son to the game, told Time of the game’s popularity. “I don’t want to see another mom sad like this.”
Evansville, Indiana police did not respond yet to a request from PEOPLE for comment.