CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A note home to parents warns of the "choking game" after the death of an 11-year-old boy.
The family has also been open about the tragedy on social media explaining he died from the choking game. Experts say it's something you need to talk to your kids about.
Licensed Psych Therapist at Southeast Psych, Jonathan Hetterly, is an expert-- but he is also a dad. For that reason he had to talk to his daughters about this dangerous thing called the choking game.
"It restricts the ability to breathe, the expectation is prior to passing out you get light-headedness, euphoric natural high without any mood altering substances. But it's dangerous. A lot of the deaths, majority of them, are when the person who died was alone. There is no safe way to do this."
Garrett Pope, 11, died from this so-called game. He was a student at Indian Land Middle School who liked football, soccer, riding bikes and most of all, playing with his friends.
It was ruled an accidental death. Now a community struggles to warn other kids about the deadly risks.
"Make time for your kid to open up-- what have they heard, is there confusion? How do they deal with the rumors about this in school."
Hetterly adds it's important to respect Garrett's family at this time, "I do think this is the challenge for the community [to] be respectful and responsive to the Pope family allow them to grieve, mourn. It really is a senseless death the kid was a wonderful kid by all accounts-- it will be hard to find meaning in his death, he had meaning in his life-- they will raise advocacy and awareness."
The family had Garrett's wake Tuesday. They called it a celebration of life.
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