Muscogee County students admit to taking the Knockout Challenge

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - The Knockout Challenge, a dangerous game that at least six Muscogee County students have admitted to participating in, has come to Muscogee County.

Students take fast breaths to the point of fainting and another person presses on their chest until the person taking the challenge falls to the ground.

Dr. Zanga, Chief of Pediatrics at the Midtown Medical Center, said the risks associated with the game are brain injury, irregular heartbeats and death.

"They can stop breathing and not start again if there's no one around to restart them. And, unfortunately, young people, children and adolescents may know how to make themselves sick but they don't know how to make themselves well," stated Dr. Zanga.

Zanga explained the medical process the body goes through when the challenge is taken: the tactic causes the heart to beat so fast, that they're removing carbon dioxide from the blood. Carbon dioxide is the component that tells the brain to breathe. When too much carbon dioxide is pushed off, there's no message getting to the brain that you need to breathe.

Valerie Fuller, Director of Communications for the Muscogee County School District, sent out an alert to parents warning them of the dangers of playing this game. The situation came to light when students were overheard talking about their experience.

"There were no reports of students injured, just a serious matter in reference to the game itself. We wanted parents to be aware; we want our employees to be aware so that if they're hearing these conversations, they may be talking about it outside of school."

School officials and Dr. Zanga recommend parents to give their children the stamina, courage and fortitude they need to say 'no' to peer pressure. Make sure your child knows that he or she can come to you whenever they feel uncomfortable about something.

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