Wrong children’s game: Hot Dog Eating Contest Turns Fatal

Jason Easterly/Special to the Daily NewsOwen Houston, 7, of Naples starts the kids “Neat Eat” during the Nathan’s…

Jason Easterly/Special to the Daily News
Owen Houston, 7, of Naples starts the kids “Neat Eat” during the Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog qualifying circuit for their annual hot dog eating contest held at the Mercato on Saturday, May 12, 2012.


In January of 2010, the Boys & Girls Club of San Pedro in California held a fundraiser for Haiti relief—a devastating earthquake hit Haiti on January 12th, 2010. One of the activities was a hot dog eating game. The fun turned deadly when one of the participants, 13 year-old Noah Thomas Akers started choking.

Wrong children's game: Hot Dog Eating Contest Turns Fatal
Wrong children’s game: Hot Dog Eating Contest Turns Fatal

A male staff member performed the Heimlich maneuver but it didn’t help. Paramedics arrived soon and tried to remove the obstructing piece of food using an extended pair of forceps. Unfortunately, they were unsuccessful and Noah later died in hospital.

Apparently, a staff member of the Boys & Girls Club did tell each child participating in the hot dog eating game to take their time and that it was not a game based on speed.

Lt. David McGill, of the Los Angeles Police Department, indicated that the initial investigation suggested that the children were appropriately supervised.

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