Medical warning over ‘funky chicken’

FIRST ON 7: Australian medical experts are warning against a schoolyard craze which has led to the death of children overseas.


Funky chicken involves players hyperventilating and starving their brain of oxygen until they pass out.

It also goes by the monikers of ‘thumb-blowing’ or the ‘passing-out game’.

They are just some of the labels for the dangerous fad, which is reportedly gaining popularity in South Australia.

“I do hear about it every few weeks or months,”

The Australian Medical Association (AMA) warns it is not the hyperventilating itself causing the problem -0 it is usually when someone falls downs and hits their head that the game suddenly becomes far more sinister.

“Death can occur in extreme cases, it becomes more of an accident at the end,” Dr Patricia Montanaro from the AMA said.

Adelaide school Blackfriars has seen the craze surface before.

“We educate our boys about the dangers of these sorts of things,” principal Andrew Whiteman said.

“Usually it’s stamped out very quickly and it’s confined to a very small group of students.”

Parents are being encouraged to speak to their children about the dangers.