One childcare blogger, Angela Henderson, a psychologist and sociologist, posted up a picture of an x-ray which turned out to be from a small child who choked on a grape, and had to receive surgery to remove it. She was reminding parents that grapes are still a huge hazard for small children.
On her blog, Finlee and Me, Henderson usually posts about toys and activities that help the development of children and mental health. This time though, she decided to take a different route. She posted an x-ray of the 5-year-old boy whose airway was being blocked by the grape.
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“This sweet soul had to be operated on, under general anesthetic to remove the grape,” the post read. “He is VERY lucky that part of his airway was open or else this could have ended badly. So please be mindful that [kids don’t always] chew their food, are in a rush at school to get in the playground, etc.”Henderson also thanked both the pediatrician who provided the photo as well as the mother for giving consent to use the X-ray image of her 5-year-old child.
Henderson’s post brings attention to an issue that is actually fairly common.
In December of 2016, CBS News reported on an article that appeared in the online journal “Archives of Disease and Childhood.” The report, which was written by Dr. Jamie Cooper and Dr. Amy Lumsden, included case studies of three boys under the age of 5 who had all choked on grapes. For two of the boys, the choking was fatal.
According to the study, food accounts for over half of choking-related deaths among children under 5. Grapes were included in the top three foods that caused such deaths; the top three also included hot dogs and candy.
“While there are plenty of warnings on the packaging of small toys about the potential choking hazard they represent, no such warnings are available on foodstuffs, such as grapes and cherry tomatoes,” the authors said in a journal news release, according to CBS News.
While the idea of a child choking on something as common as grapes can be a frightening prospect, there is indeed a simple solution to such a problem. According to the researchers, foods that present a choking hazard “should be chopped in half and ideally quartered before being given to young children [aged 5 and under].”
Henderson’s post also suggested a similar course of action to parents.
“Please be careful,” the post read. “And when in doubt just cut the d*** grapes, baby tomatoes, etc.