A Northern California teenager appears to have been playing the "choking game" when he became unconscious and accidentally died, his parents said Wednesday.
The choking game, also known as the fainting game, involves intentionally cutting off oxygen to the brain with the goal of inducing temporary euphoria.
The teen's parents, Eric and Kendall Butler, spoke out in an effort to prevent more deaths. They said they had no idea such a game existed.
"If this can happen to my son, it can happen to anyone's son," Kendall Butler told our sister station in Sacramento.
"This is the worst feeling in the world," Eric Butler added.
The teen, who played football at Bear River High School, was taken by helicopter to Sutter Roseville Medical Center and transferred to the UC Davis Medical Center, where he was declared dead.
Nevada County Sheriff Keith Royal called the death an accident. He said although there was exercise equipment in the room where the teen was found, it "did not cause the death."