Family and friends are remembering an 11-year-old Indian Land boy after officials said he died playing the “choking game.”
Garrett Pope was found in his room Wednesday afternoon, according to Channel 9’s partner The Herald.
The choking game is when someone cuts off his or her airways in an attempt to get a sense of euphoria.
His father, Garrett Pope Sr., posted on Facebook that he's not sure where his son learned the game.
“Please talk about this with your kids, and do everything you can to prevent a similar tragedy. He was so young and impressionable, he didn’t know what he was doing, and made a terrible mistake,” Garrett Pope Sr. wrote.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said caregivers can look for certain warning signs that their children have played the so-called choking game, such as discussion of the game, bloodshot eyes, marks on the neck, disorientation or the presence of ropes, scarves and belts tied to bedroom furniture or doorknobs.
The CDC found in a 2008 study that 82 people, mostly boys ages 11 to 16, died playing the game or other strangulation activities from 1995 to 2007.
Garrett Pope Sr. also wrote that he and his wife, Stacy Pope, searched their family's computers and tablets to see if their son Garrett had researched the game, but they could not find any evidence that he had.
Stacy Pope said she heard about the "choking game" from a local football coach, but when she asked her son about it, he said he did not know anything about the game.
Garrett Pope Sr. told The Herald that he is speaking publicly about his son's death because he doesn't want another family to lose a child.
“Whatever we can do to prevent this from happening to anybody else, that’s the goal,” Garrett Pope Sr. said.
The family will hold a service Tuesday.
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