Doctors are warning parents and young people to be aware of the dangers of what is known as "the choking game".

The warning comes as a teenage boy remains seriously ill in a Dublin hospital after such an incident.

The boy who is in his early teens was unconscious and in a critical condition when he was admitted to a paediatric hospital in Dublin.

It later emerged that he had been involved in what is known as a choking or fainting game.

Minister of State at the Department of Health Kathleen Lynch said the incident is very worrying.

She said it was clearly something that had to be dealt with and that it was necessary to ensure schools were fully informed in relation to the issue.

She said it was important that schools had the right message for children, that that type of risk behaviour can result in very serious consequences.

The activity usually involves boys and girls putting pressure either on their own or their friend's throat until they nearly pass out.

Doctors are warning young people not to engage in the activity as they say it can lead to irreversible brain damage or in some cases death.

Over 80 people have already died in the US as a result of the practice.